Planning publications

View documents that provide an overview of Washington State Ferries and the services we provide, our performance statistics, plans to guide our operations, as well as reports of events and operating performance.

Overview documents

These documents provide a system overview and the services we provide, as well as our performance statistics.

Overview and fact sheet

We are the nation's largest ferry system, serving an average of 23.4 million riders and 10.3 million vehicles each year from 2010-2019. Learn more about our ferry system (PDF 487MB) and the important services we provide for Washington state and the Puget Sound Region.

WSDOT Ferries Division Fleet Guide

The Fleet Guide (PDF 2.1MB) is designed to answer vessel specific questions we are most frequently asked about our fleet of 21 ferries.

Traffic and ridership statistics

We post ferry traffic and ridership statistics by route, passenger type, and vehicle type. Annual and quarterly reports are available.

Accountability and on-time performance

We post on-time performance statistics for all routes each month.

Plans and projects

We have a range of plans to guide the operations of our ferry system. Some of these plans lead to projects for the Ferries system. Learn about these plans and projects in this section.

COVID-19 Service Restoration Plan

In early 2022, we created a COVID-19 Service Restoration Plan (PDF 794KB) to describe the process by which we will restore service as we recover from the pandemic. The goals of this plan are to maintain reliability of service, ensure that service restoration can be maintained, prioritize routes based on ridership needs, and facilitate transparency and customer communications.

For more on how COVID-19 is affecting Washington State Ferries and how we’re restoring service as we recover from the pandemic, visit our service restoration update page.

2040 Long Range Plan

We delivered our 2040 Long Range Plan to the Legislature on Jan. 3, 2019, to create a vision for the future of the ferry system and provide guidance for services and investments through 2040.

Sustainability Action Plan

Our Sustainability Action Plan: 2023-2025 (PDF 1.6MB) includes action-oriented focus areas and applies the goal-setting tool of “Objectives and Key Results” to set “challenging ambitious goals with measurable results.” We launched our first Sustainability Action Plan on Earth Day 2019 as one effort to implement the sustainability recommendations, goals and actions laid out in our 2040 Long Range Plan. This 2019-2021 Plan helped set a baseline for our subsequent efforts. As with previous versions, we consider the Plan to be a “living document” that will guide our sustainability efforts. Provide feedback on our current Plan by sending us an email.

Transit Asset Management Plan

The Transit Asset Management Plan (PDF 4.7MB) documents the strategic, systematic practices of procuring, operating, inspecting, maintaining, rehabilitating and replacing capital assets. It supports our efforts to manage capital asset performance, risks and costs over their lifecycles to provide safe, cost-effective and reliable public transportation.

Passenger Demographic Study

We are conducting a systemwide passenger demographic study in 2023 to better understand the needs and travel patterns of our customers and people living in ferry-served communities. The study is in response to Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5689 (PDF 976KB) (see page 76). 

The study is being done through two rounds of in-person outreach aboard our ferries and an online survey.  The first round was done in August. Another will be conducted this fall and winter so that we can learn about passenger demographics from that time period. We will submit a report to the Legislature in December 2023. 

2013 Origin-Destination Survey

We periodically conduct origin-destination surveys as a way to accurately capture and measure the travel patterns of ferry passengers.

Reports and publications

We provide reports of events, operating performance and links to our publications in this section.

Internal investigation of Walla Walla grounding on Bainbridge Island

Walla Walla lost propulsion power and ran aground on Bainbridge Island while travelling through in Rich Passage on April 15, 2023. We launched an internal investigation to determine the cause and to ensure something similar does not happen again. Our Report of Formal Investigation (PDF 1.4MB) includes findings and recommendations.

Internal investigation of Cathlamet incident at Fauntleroy terminal

When Cathlamet struck offshore pilings at Fauntleroy terminal on July 28, 2022, we immediately launched an internal investigation to determine the cause and to ensure something similar does not happen again. Our Report of Formal Investigation (PDF 1.3MB) includes findings and recommendations.

Route statements and analysis for fiscal year 2022

The Route Statements and Analysis (PDF 3.7MB) document describes factors affecting the route statements for fiscal year 2022, and contains information regarding cost, ridership, and revenue trends over the past five years. The route statements appearing after the analysis show ridership, revenue, and cost data for each route, culminating in a "farebox recovery ratio," or what percentage of the route's total costs are paid for by customer fares.

Slow down on ice and snow.

It's easier to skid or lose control traveling at higher speeds. Give yourself more time to stop.

Carry chains, practice installing them.

Winter conditions could mean chains are required on your route. Practice putting them on your vehicle ahead of time.

Pack your winter car kit.

Carry extra supplies like warm clothing, ice scraper and brush, jumper cables and other emergency items.