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FAQs - School Groups

Schools

Washington State Ferries (WSF) welcomes your school groups aboard our vessels. Please read all information below and follow the outlined steps for your school-sponsored travel with WSF. This information is required for student groups traveling in vehicles as well as groups that are walking onto the ferries.

1. Travel Notification/Student Safety

The safety and well-being of your students is important to us. In addition, Coast Guard regulations require WSF to have enough life preservers on board for all children who weigh less than 90 pounds; otherwise, WSF vessels are not allowed to sail. (Children weighing more than 90 pounds can use adult life vests.)

Please fill out and submit the Advance Travel Notification & Student Safety Form below at least 72 hours in advance of travel to let us know about the size of your group. The completed student safety form will be sent to the terminals, and the staff will be made aware of your travel plans. You will receive an email confirmation after submitting the form. If you do not receive the confirmation, please contact wsfschools@wsdot.wa.gov.

Advance Travel Notification & Student Safety Form

2. School Discounts

The school group rate applies to walk-on passengers and passengers riding in vehicles. Vehicle fares are not discounted.

The Washington Administrative Code (WAC 468-300-010) allows passengers who are travelling in authorized school groups for institution-sponsored activities to be charged a flat rate of $2 per walk-on group; vehicles are charged the fare applicable to vehicle size, plus a flat rate of $2 per vehicle for additional students, advisors, and/or staff.

To receive the special school rate, groups must present a valid authorization letter at the time of travel along with payment. If multiple vehicles are travelling, each vehicle must present a separate, valid authorization letter to the ticket agent when purchasing fares.

A valid authorization letter:

    • includes all information filled out as requested on the form below.
    • is printed on official school/home school letterhead
    • includes original signature of school administrator or transportation coordinator (photocopied signatures are not accepted)

For your convenience, WSF has created an authorization letter below that can be completed and brought with you to the terminal.

Other important information:

    • Home School groups wishing to receive the discounted rate must present a copy of the Declaration of Intent (DOI) that was filed with their appropriate school district, in addition to the School Discount Authorization Letter.
    • Authorization letters and DOI's provided after the time of travel are not accepted for refunds of full fares paid.
    • Non-profit organizations do not qualify for the school discount.

3. Vehicle Reservation System

Port Townsend/Coupeville & Anacortes/San Juan Islands/Sidney B.C. routes only:

School groups traveling on the Port Townsend/Coupeville & Anacortes/San Juan Islands/Sidney B.C. routes will need to make reservations at the Save-a-Spot website in addition to completing Steps 1 and 2 outlined above.

School groups traveling on all other non-reservation routes do not need to complete this last step. For-non reservation routes, the completed form from step 1 will be sent to the terminals, and the staff is notified of your travel plans.