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State ferries reducing service in central Puget Sound

Final round trip on Edmonds-Kingston route suspended

 
Series: Coronavirus | Story 68

Last updated 3/27/2020 at 4:35pm

Brian Soergel

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 April 25.

On the Edmonds-Kingston route, the final round trip will be suspended on Fridays and Saturdays only.

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.

Also starting March 29, the final roundtrips of each sailing day are suspended on the Seattle-Bainbridge, Seattle-Bremerton and Mukilteo-Clinton routes.

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; and 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."

As of March 26, system wide ridership was down about 60% compared to the last week of February. Walk-on passengers have decreased more than 80%, while the number of vehicles carried has dropped nearly 50%.

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.

The Beacon will also provide updates.

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

 

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