Community

Changes to ferry fares approved, effective Oct. 1

OLYMPIA — New, across-the-board ferry-fare increases will go into effect Oct. 1 as a result of action taken by Washington State Transportation Commission following a final hearing July 30.

The commission adopted the new fares to ensure the state meets the ferry-fare-revenue target set by the Legislature in the recently enacted 2013-2015 transportation budget.

The commission’s action is based on recommendations from Washington State Ferries, members of the citizen-based Ferry Advisory Committee on Tariffs, responses from public outreach meetings and email comments. Detailed information on the proposal, including fare tables, is available on the commission’s website at www.wstc.wa.gov.

Key elements of the proposal are implements across-the-board, general fare increases:

• 2 percent increase on passenger fares and 3 percent increase on vehicle fares

• 2 percent increase on passenger fares and 2.5 percent increase on vehicle fares on May 1, 2014

Increases fares for the Anacortes-Sidney, BC:

• 4.1 percent increase on Anacortes-Sidney vehicle and passenger fares

• 2.5 percent increase on Anacortes-Sidney vehicle and passenger fares on May 1, 2014

• Adds a round trip fare option for travelers to and from Friday Harbor and Sidney, BC.

• Completes implementation of a three-phase plan that was started in 2011, providing reduced fares for smaller vehicles. In this final phase, the vehicle fare for cars less than 14 feet will be charged 70 percent of the vehicle fare charged for standard vehicles (14 feet to less than 22 feet).

• Eliminates the motorcycle oversize surcharge. Vehicles that currently pay the motorcycle oversize surcharge will pay either the under-14-feet-vehicle fare or the motorcycle fare depending on their size.

• Increases the youth discount from the current 20 percent off the full fare, to 50 percent off the full fare.

Based on comments heard during the public outreach process, the commission incorporated some changes to the initial proposal:

•  Aligned the new 50 percent off “youth fare” with the 50 percent off “senior/disabled fare” – different rounding assumptions in the proposal had resulted in a slight variance in the initial proposal.

• Kept one-way fare options on the San Juan Islands to Sidney route. Under the original proposal, the one-way fares would have been eliminated.

• Made a minor downward adjustment on the ferry charter rates to reflect updated cost information.

 

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