Weekly update

Read the weekly update WSDOT Assistant Secretary Patty Rubstello, the head of Washington State Ferries, sends to staff, colleagues and stakeholders.

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If you have suggestions or comments about the WSF Weekly Update, email WSFWeeklyUpdate@wsdot.wa.gov.

Each January, there is a special edition recapping the previous year. View the 2021 Year in Review (PDF 1.2MB).

Here is the latest edition of the WSF Weekly Update:

May 26, 2022

Service restoration update

We’re a little more than a week into operating three routes on restored service (Stage 4) in our Service Restoration Plan (PDF 794KB). Reliability has been at nearly 100% on our Anacortes/San Juan Islands, Seattle/Bainbridge and Mukilteo/Clinton runs. However, we’re not at the staffing levels yet to provide reliable two-boat service on our next prioritized route in the Plan, Edmonds/Kingston. Therefore, there are no significant changes in this week’s Plan Progress Report (PDF 593KB). As a reminder, with COVID-19 cases on the rise, our reliability may temporarily decrease in the weeks ahead due to rising relief requests among our crews.

Group of people in a room with first-aid dummies and automated external defibrillators on the ground
Seventeen new hires completed new deck employee orientation last week and are now working out in the fleet. Here they are in basic first aid training.

2022 WTS International Annual Conference

The Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS International) held their annual conference in Seattle last week. In addition to learning new ideas and networking with others in transportation, I participated in a panel about “Ferries of the Future,” sharing information about our electrification efforts. I also hosted several conference attendees on a visit to our Seattle terminal on Friday. We took a ride to Bainbridge Island and back aboard Tacoma, touring the pilothouse and engine room. It was great sharing what we do with transportation professionals from across North America!

Group of people with one person speaking to the others at a ferry terminal
While hosting some conference attendees at our Seattle terminal, I shared an overview of current Colman Dock project construction activity.
Group of people with one person speaking to the others on board a ferry
Deckhand Veronica Johnson speaks to conference attendees about her experience and career with us. Big thanks to the crew aboard Tacoma for their hospitality.

Marion Street Pedestrian Bridge closure June 1-2

Heads up if you’re a walk-on rider who uses the temporary Marion Street Pedestrian Bridge at our Seattle terminal. The bridge will be closed intermittently on Wednesday and Thursday, June 1-2, while crews partially demolish a building at the corner of Western Avenue and Columbia Street. Uniformed police officers will direct people onto surface streets between Colman Dock and First Avenue.

Memorial Day weekend ferry travel

Although service has returned to pre-pandemic levels on three routes, people driving on board over Memorial Day weekend should still plan for long waits across the system. The busiest sailings will be westbound (or onto an island) Thursday and Friday, May 26-27, then eastbound (or off island) Sunday and Monday, May 29-30. To reduce or eliminate waiting, riders may consider taking an early morning or late-night sailing or walking on.

Ferry approaching dock with Seattle waterfront in background
There will be a few schedule changes on Memorial Day, May 30. Holiday sailings are marked on each route's timetables.

Before heading to a terminal or boarding, customers are encouraged to sign up for rider alerts and check terminal conditions. Anacortes/San Juan Islands and Port Townsend/Coupeville routes also offer vehicle reservations. People using state highways to get to the ferry terminal should plan for potential holiday travel backups and delays by checking real-time traffic information on the WSDOT traffic app for mobile devices or online using the updated WSDOT travel map feature.

Online open house for Fauntleroy terminal project

The online open house about our Fauntleroy terminal project is now available! This is your chance to learn more about our recent planning progress and what replacement alternatives we’re considering. You can also share your thoughts there through June 13. Earlier this week, we held two virtual community meetings on the project. We’ve already received over 100 comments that will help us determine what issues to focus on as we continue to plan for replacing the Fauntleroy terminal. Video recordings of the webinars will be available on the project webpage next week. Project-related questions and comments are always welcome via email. Thank you for sharing your input!

Patty Rubstello
Assistant Secretary, WSDOT/Ferries Division

Zero emission electric vehicle registrations in Washington

increased 192% between 2017 and 2021.

45 projects to improve freight rail structures and freight movement

were underway as of December 31, 2021.

Washington state leveraged $100,000 to secure $27 million

in funding for airport investments in Fiscal Year 2022.