Local Information

State ferries to reduce service in central Puget Sound beginning Sunday, March 29

Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 14:04

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

Update
Please note that sailings on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route that have been reduced since Friday, April 10, will resume normal winter schedule service starting Sunday, April 26. In addition, all reduced schedules will now remain in effect through at least June 20. The release below has been updated to include these changes.

Temporary reduced schedules are part of the state’s COVID-19 response

SEATTLE – Washington State Ferries’ central Puget Sound routes will temporarily move to a reduced service plan as part of the state’s response to COVID-19. These reductions will start at the beginning of the service day Sunday, March 29, and remain in place through at least June 20.

Sailings on the Seattle/Bainbridge and Seattle/Bremerton routes are being reduced by about half. The “Triangle” route – Fauntleroy/Vashon, Fauntleroy/Southworth, and Southworth/Vashon – will move to a two-boat schedule, which reduces sailings by about one-third. Sailings on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route will be reduced to a three-boat weekday schedule instead of four and two-boat weekend service instead of three on Friday, April 10, through Saturday, April 25.

Suspended sailings

Also starting March 29, the final roundtrips of each sailing day are suspended on the Seattle/Bainbridge, Seattle/Bremerton and Mukilteo/Clinton routes. On the Edmonds/Kingston route, the final roundtrip will be suspended on Fridays and Saturdays only. The following daily sailings on the “Triangle” route are also suspended:

  • 1:25 a.m. Vashon to Fauntleroy
  • 1:45 a.m. Southworth to Fauntleroy
  • 2:20 a.m. Fauntleroy to Vashon
  • 2:45 a.m. Vashon to Southworth

These service reductions and the earlier announced extension of the winter sailing schedule prepares WSF for the ongoing effects of COVID-19 disrupting service, including:

  • A continued decrease in ridership due to public health recommendations
  • Availability of sufficient crew personnel to meet federal requirements

“I know many people depend on our state ferries to get to work, and for goods, services and medical appointments,” said Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar. “Our top priority remains the safety of our passengers and WSF crew as they continue vital ferry service.”

“The suspension of these sailings will give vessel crews and terminal staff more time to thoroughly clean and sanitize, making the ferries safer for everyone,” said Amy Scarton, head of WSF. “Further suspensions and adjustments are possible depending on ridership trends.”

Recent system wide ridership has been down about 75%, compared to the last week of February. Walk-on passengers have decreased more than 90%, while the number of vehicles carried has dropped nearly 65%.

Customers can sign up for email rider alerts, check WSF COVID-19 travel updates and follow WSF on Twitter and Facebook for notification of resumption of regular service and other rider information.

Emergency medical services have been notified of the schedule changes and will continue to have priority boarding as the situation allows.

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 24 million people a year through some of the most majestic scenery in the world.

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