Rider updates

Find out how COVID-19 is affecting Washington State Ferries and how we’re restoring service as we recover from the pandemic.

Service restoration update

In March 2022, we released our COVID-19 Service Restoration Plan (PDF 794KB), which outlines steps to restore service to pre-pandemic levels on a route-by-route basis. 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.

View our latest Service Restoration Plan Progress Report (PDF 587KB).

Schedule changes

On Oct. 16, 2021, we temporarily switched to alternate service schedules on most routes to reduce last-minute sailing cancellations caused by crewing challenges as a result of a global shortage of mariners, an aging workforce, COVID-19 cases and quarantines, and the state vaccine mandate.

We are working hard to recruit new employees so we can incrementally restore service on a route-by-route basis. Restoration is complete on our Anacortes/San Juan Islands, Seattle Bainbridge and Mukilteo/Clinton runs. Until all routes can be restored to full seasonal service levels, if crewing allows, additional sailings may be added on a day-by-day basis on other routes still operating reduced service.

Here is a route-by-route breakdown of how sailing schedules are different than pre-pandemic levels:

  • Edmonds/Kingston, Seattle/Bremerton and Port Townsend/Coupeville: One-boat service instead of two
  • Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth: Two-boat service instead of three
  • Anacortes/Friday Harbor/Sidney, British Columbia: International service suspended until at least summer 2023

Routes not listed are operating the same seasonal schedules as prior to the pandemic. For the latest service updates, sign up for our rider alerts.

Face masks

Masks are optional for the public inside our vessels and terminal; however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.        

Food galleys

Our food vendor resumed onboard galley service aboard some vessels on the following routes on April 13, 2022, in the first step in a phased reopening:

  • Anacortes/San Juan Islands (two vessels)
  • Edmonds/Kingston (one vessel)
  • Seattle/Bainbridge (one vessel)
  • Seattle/Bremerton (one vessel)

Additional openings are reliant on our food vendor being able to hire more staff and sales allowing for expansion. 

San Juan Provisions Café and Gift Shop inside our Anacortes terminal building is open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Dockside food kiosk located by the vehicle holding lanes at our Anacortes terminal is planned to reopen in spring.

Drinking fountains

Drinking fountains are back open at our terminals. Onboard fountains will reopen throughout 2022 as the potable water aboard each vessel becomes available.

Memorial services

Memorial services have resumed aboard our vessels on designated routes at specific times.

8,683 animals crossed the Snoqualmie Pass East Project area

as recorded by WSDOT and partners in 2020 and 2021.

46% increase in Amtrak Cascades ridership to 251,000 passengers

in 2021 compared to 172,000 in 2020.

Nine wetland and stream mitigation sites across 32.7 acres added

to our monitoring program in 2021 to help offset climate change impacts.