News

Hansen bill would boost fast passenger-ferry service to Seattle

OLYMPIA  — The dream of a fast passenger-ferry run from Bremerton to Seattle moved a step closer to reality last week with House committee approval of a proposal to permit Kitsap Transit to make a case to voters for the service.

House Bill 2267, by Rep. Drew Hansen (D-Bainbridge Island), could result in a voter-approved fast ferry plan to re-launch the Rich Passage I, the high-tech boat that conducted successful  trial runs for four months in 2012 but has since sat idle for lack of funds to operate a regularly scheduled service.

“We want to attract more jobs and more commuters to Bremerton, and a fast, reliable ferry to Seattle is one way to do it,” said Hansen. “I want to give Kitsap Transit a chance to make the case for passenger-only ferry service to the voters, and that’s exactly what this bill does.”

The measure will permit transit authorities to propose a passenger-only ferry operation to voters along with a revenue plan for how to pay for the service.

The federal government has provided more than $13 million to build and test the Rich Passage I, a catamaran powered by water jets that is designed to minimize wakes that could damage the shoreline of Rich Passage, the narrow strait between Bainbridge Island and the part of the Kitsap Peninsula near Mansfield State Park. The boat passed the tests of wake generation, but there has not been a source of money to put it in service.

The committee vote for the measure advances it for consideration by the full House.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Nov 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates