Kingston-Seattle foot ferry postpones debut

Foot-ferry service between Kingston and downtown Seattle took one step back this week, when operator Aqua Express announced it would not meet its projection of an October start date.

But once the boat begins operating in December, it is in for the long haul, according to Aqua Express general manager Brian Grantham.

“We have the ability to run at a loss for about three years,” he said.

The service will run with just one boat to start (although Aqua has a backup vessel at the ready). Grantham said the company expects to announce the service schedule sometime in November.

Service will run from Kingston — from a dock that is yet to be built — to Pier 56 in Seattle.

When the ferry begins service, it will be the second privately operated ferry, joining the Kitsap Ferry Co.’s Bremerton-Seattle run, operating since the summer.

“At the end of the third month, we’re making a lot of progress,” said Kitsap Ferry Co. manager Greg Dronkert. “But we’re not there yet. The ridership is building steadily, although not as as quickly as we’d like. People are slow to change their existing habits.”

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