Edmonds loses Puyallup ferry to Seattle-Bainbridge

64-car Salish is the replacement


Last updated 10/5/2023 at 10:04am

Nichols Bros.

M/V Salish

Due to a mechanical failure on the Walla Walla, which serves the Seattle-Bremerton route, Washington State Ferries has transferred the Puyallup – serving Edmonds-Kingston – to Seattle.

That means fewer car slots for local travelers.

"It's a boat shuffle due to trouble on another route," said WSF spokesperson Ian Sterling. "Walla Walla is out of service with a damaged propeller."

Seattle-Bremerton is still on reduced service with the one boat.

"To keep it open, we moved a boat from what is traditionally the busiest route (Seattle/Bainbridge) and replaced it with the only spare boat currently available, Salish," Sterling said. The 273-foot Salish has room for 64 vehicles, while the Jumbo Mark II, 460-foot Puyallup has 202.

"It was not a good fit on Seattle/Bainbridge due to a poor fit at the Bainbridge terminal and its inability to keep the schedule there. So it has been moved to Edmonds/Kingston to fill in here while Puyallup, which was on the Edmonds route, fills in on Seattle-Bainbridge."

Still serving Edmonds-Kingston is the 188-car Spokane, which itself was out of commission for two weeks recently due to mechanical issues.

Walla Walla will go into dry dock for repair soon and is expected to be fixed within the next few weeks.

"Having the smallest class of boat on the Edmonds/Kingston route is not ideal," said Sterling, "but it is the only boat available. That's because Port Townsend-Coupeville is also still waiting for two-boat service to be restored. In short, Edmonds gets two boats, but one is small.

"Bremerton and Port Townsend only get one boat instead of two, as they have not had two-boat service restored post-pandemic as Edmonds has. It's like Tetris (a puzzle video game) with ferry boats to try to keep the whole system working the best it can."

Washington State Ferries is now operating on its fall schedule, which means fewer runs.


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