Local Information

Lengthy waits for vehicles to cap peak season ferry travel over holiday weekend

Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 10:00

Ian Sterling, communications, 206-714-1556
WSF media hotline, 206-402-8070

500,000 travelers expected before 20% drop in ridership after Labor Day

EDMONDS – A half-million people are projected to ride a Washington state ferry between Thursday, Aug. 29, and Tuesday, Sept. 3, for Labor Day weekend. That’s enough to fill Husky Stadium seven times.

Customers driving a vehicle onto a vessel should plan for lengthy wait times during the last long weekend of the peak ferry travel season. To reduce or eliminate waiting, riders may consider walking on the ferry or taking an early morning or late evening sailing.

Busiest travel times

Washington State Ferries expects many holiday weekend travelers to sail westbound today, Aug. 29, through Saturday, Aug. 31, and then eastbound Sunday, Sept. 1 through Tuesday, Sept. 3, as they return from their Labor Day getaways.

Since late June, vehicle wait times have consistently been more than one hour during the following times at these terminals:

  • Edmonds: Thursday afternoon, Friday midday through afternoon, midday Saturday
  • Kingston: Sunday midday through afternoon, midday Monday
  • Mukilteo: Thursday afternoon, Friday midday through afternoon, midday Saturday
  • Clinton: Sunday midday through afternoon, midday Monday
  • Fauntleroy: Friday afternoon

Holiday schedules

There will be a few holiday schedule changes for the Edmonds/Kingston, Mukilteo/Clinton, Point Defiance/Tahlequah, Port Townsend/Coupeville and Anacortes/San Juan Islands routes on Monday, Sept. 2. The Seattle/Bainbridge Island and Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth routes will operate on a weekend timetable that day.

Travel tips

People using state highways to get to the ferry terminal should plan ahead for potential backups and delays with real-time traffic information on the WSDOT traffic app for their mobile device.

Washington State Ferries, a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation, is the largest ferry system in the U.S. and safely and efficiently carries nearly 25 million people a year through some of the most majestic scenery in the world.

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