EDC Survey on Sidney Ferry Privatization
The Joint Transportation Committee of the Washington State Legislature is conducting a study exploring privatization of the Sidney ferry run. The San Juan County Economic Development Council (EDC) and their partners would like to hear opinions from regional users of the Sidney ferry and stakeholders. Please take a few minutes to answer our survey: Link to: Survey on Sidney Ferry Privatization
The Washington State Legislature has directed the Joint Transportation Committee to analyze the feasibility of privatizing ferry service to Canada, which currently connects Sidney, BC and Anacortes, WA, with a stop in Friday Harbor, WA.
Currently nearly 20% of the run includes freight and passenger vehicle transportation to San Juan Island; however, the Federal Jones Act and international SOLAS requirements make it very difficult, if not impossible, for any current private operators to include a stop in Friday Harbor.
The ferry run brings an estimated $30 million in payroll and $126 million in spending to our region, associated with over 1000 jobs, according to a 2007 study by E. D. Hovee & Company, LLC, prepared for EDASC.
WSF vessels operate at lower speeds – which may be safer and less noisy – than the vessels proposed by private operators. While the increased speed might impact marine life, we do not have information about factors (routes, noise levels, slowdowns) that might mitigate or amplify impacts.
Potential benefits of privatization include allowing Washington State Ferries to support other runs in our region and farther south in Puget Sound, and a private company might be able to serve a Vancouver Island run more effectively, but possibly through a port not located in our region
The EDC is interested in learning opinions on this concept from residents of our region. Please take a few minutes to answer our survey: Link to: Sidney Ferry Survey. For more information, please contact the EDC, firstname.lastname@example.org.