Hyak to Be Retired
Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:50 am by Tim Dustrude
Well this was supposed to be the third in a 3‑part series of late running ferries, but it just became the third in a FOUR part series…
Part 3: The Problem Continues
This just in from WSF on June 20th:
Summer to Begin With Fewer Vessels in WSF fleet
“The past legislative session came with some victories (funding for new hybrid-electric vessels) and some defeats, such as the forced retirement of one of our operating ferries, the Hyak. The 51-year-old vessel’s final day in operation is scheduled for Sunday, June 30 on the Seattle/Bremerton route. This means that as summer begins, we will have fewer vessels to serve our busy routes. And because many of our vessels are quite old, repairs are often needed.
This is why we had to make the difficult decision to temporarily downsize our Port Townsend/Coupeville routefrom two boats to one beginning Sunday, June 23. That day is the start of our summer sailing schedule, when the number of vessels needed to operate our system goes up from 18 to 19. I understand the effect this decision will have on our customers and surrounding communities. I want everyone to know we looked at many scenarios to avoid it.
Kennewick will operate solo on our Port Townsend/ Coupeville route on Sunday, June 23, through at least Sunday, June 30.
Following the sailing day on Saturday, June 22, Salish will head from Port Townsend to the San Juan Islands to serve as the interisland vessel through at least Sunday, June 30. Customers driving onto our interisland sailings should plan for possible delays as this ferry holds fewer vehicles than what is normally on the route. Port Townsend/Coupeville riders are strongly encouraged to make a reservation if they plan on sailing next week, or consider using our Edmonds/Kingston and Mukilteo/Clinton routes as an alternate.”
Hopefully, the final part of this series won’t be preempted again. Tune in tomorrow for Part 4: The Solution
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Categories: Ferries, Transportation
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Thank you Tim for doing this series. I am keenly interested in the last part SOLUTIONS as I have come to believe that there really are no tenable solutions for island residents.
We have only been ferry riders by necessity for 13 years and generally only go off once a month or so. But then there are the non-emergency personal needs that when they happen in summer can be mighty aggravating. And fares go upward while schedule reliability goes south.
I was as supporter of reservations as the first come, first served policy was an anachronism of quieter times and less ridership. It was extremely inefficient and silly in terms of time we spent sitting at a terminal early in order to get on a boat.
However, the system of today is geared to patched up old boats and schedules trying to play catch up to peak summer tourist ridership. Multiple reservations for any one trip across with only a $10 no show fee is completely absurd. Residents need more slots. If road connected folks in this region had to deal with the uncertainties and waiting they would have blocked the freeways with burning tires by now to stop the insanity.
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