WSF's solution must give fair treatment to Southworth
January 29, 2009 · 12:10 PM
As citizens gather on Feb. 7 to work on Plan C for Washington State Ferries, sustainability is only one problem.
Fairness among different terminals is also a significant problem.
In WSF’s Plan A/Plan B scenario, Bremerton and South Sound bear the brunt of the cuts, while Bainbridge an Kingston are largely unscathed.
Of concern to Southworth riders is the 70/30 split that’s been foisted upon us for the past 20 years.
Vashon, with 10 percent of the population of the triangle, or 4,400 households, gets 70 percent of the service.
South Kitsap, with 90 percent of the population, or 58,000 households, gets 30 percent of the service.
To get access to ferries in commute hours, Southworth has to resort to vanpools, carpools and walk-ons, while Vashon drives aboard in single-occupancy vehicles with impunity.
A plan that doesn’t address the 70/30 split – and remedy it – can’t possibly be equitable.
Southworth riders have been made to feel much like racial minorities who had to ride in the back of the bus in the pre-civil rights era.
Vashon, by contrast, is like the white folks riding up front.
Does addressing the split matter?
If we go to Plan B, with the 70/30 split, Southworth gets the equivalent of one-half of one car ferry.
And of course, neither Plan A nor Plan B account for the projected growth at Southworth of 70 percent, greatest in the WSF system. REX NELSON Southworth