Washington State Transportation Commission holding public meetings on ferry increases

OLYMPIA — Across-the-board ferry-fare increases are being proposed by the Washington State Transportation Commission. The increase is necessary to ensure the state meets the ferry-fare revenue target set by the Legislature in the recently enacted 2013-2015 transportation budget.

Kitsap County residents will have a chance to comment on the increase during two meetings this month. A meeting is planned from 6-8 p.m. Monday, July 15, at the Bainbridge Island Commons Senior Center, 402 Brien Dr., and at the same time Tuesday, July 16, at Givens Community Center, 1026 Sidney Ave., Port Orchard.

The commission is seeking public comment on the proposal and plans to make a final decision during its meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, at Union Station in Seattle.

The commission’s proposal is based on recommendations from Washington State Ferries and members of the citizen-based Ferry Advisory Committee on Tariffs. The proposal includes a number of fare and policy changes, which are summarized below.

Detailed information on the proposal, including fare tables, is available on the commission’s website:

All proposed changes would take effect on Oct. 1, unless otherwise noted.  Key elements of the proposal are across-the-board general-fare increase that include:

• 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.

• Complete 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).

• Eliminate 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.

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

People who are unable to attend the meeting can write WSTC Fare Proposal, P.O. Box 47308, Olympia, WA 98504-7308 or email, or call 360-705-7070.


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