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Agency is committed to maintaining capacity
The purpose of this letter is to add to the article and editorial in the Sept. 24 Beachcomber. Washington State Ferries understands and appreciates the importance of the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route to the residents of West Seattle, Vashon Island and Southworth and the attention received regarding the effort under way to review the route’s schedule.
The schedule is very complex, with many competing patterns and needs, so the review process has been meticulous — focusing on identifying current traffic patterns, on time performance and actual crossing times and loading/unloading times. WSF will be discussing these data points at public open houses at both Vashon and Southworth this fall — keep an eye out for further information.
Developing a schedule that our vessels can realistically meet, providing more resilience to recover from events that delay a vessel and accommodating the additional capacity of the 124-car Cathlamet replacing the 87-car Klahowya are all challenges of this schedule review. In addition, we still need to provide the necessary connections and capacity at specific times. All of this combined requires a good deal of review, re-review and revision. We are committed to developing options that maintain or improve peak period capacity.
WSF greatly appreciates the time and effort the Steering Committee, composed of Ferry Advisory Committee members, transit agencies and WSF staff, is putting into this complex task. We look forward to continuing our progress with the communities involved and aim to have draft schedules for public review after the first of the year.
— Ray Deardorf
Planning Director, Washington State Ferries