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Public asked for input on ferry fare increase

Residents of South Kitsap will be invited to voice their opinions next month regarding a fare increase recently proposed by the Washington State Ferries to begin in May.

Eight meetings will be held to collect public comment on the latest six-percent increase, one which will be held at John Sedgwick Junior High School on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 6 to 7 p.m.

After comments are gathered on the proposed increase, the regularly scheduled South Sound Ferry Advisory Committee meeting will begin.

“After we gather public input — at the meetings, via email or other ways — the (WSF Tariff Policy Committee) will meet again and review their proposal based on the comments,” said Traci Brewer-Rogstad, WSF director of operations. “Customers should be comfortable that their opinions will be heard. Public involvement in this process works, people do listen and changes have been made to past proposals based on comments.”

The proposal includes a one-year general fare increase of six percent, plus nickel rounding, which would increase car and driver fare for Cross Sound passengers to $11.25 from $10.60.

The proposal also includes delaying a planned surcharge that was connected to the implementation of an electronic ticketing system, which was previously planned for last fall, but is now scheduled for this winter and spring.

Another meeting will be held Monday, Feb. 27, at the Norm Dicks Government Center in Bremerton, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Residents who cannot attend any of the meetings but would still like to comment on the fare increase can submit their opinions several other ways:

• via e-mail to: tariff@wsdot.wa.gov;

• by fax to 206-515-3773;

• by phone to 888-808-7977;

• or by postal mail to: Tariff Proposal, Washington State Ferries, 2911 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA. 98121-1012

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