LETTER: Schedule options will not accomplish goals

At the Vashon Ferry Advisory Committee public meeting last week, it was stated that there are two issues driving the new schedules: Fauntleroy terminal congestion and Southworth growth requiring greater service levels.

It is of concern that there is no data available to analyze the volume of vehicles and riders during periods of the 24 hours, at each of the three locations, and in each direction. That is required to make a reasonable assessment of need, which must be done before you can reasonably allocate the resources available. (That, of course, doesn’t address the need to increase and refresh those resources.)

In a quick analysis of the two options, it seems that neither goal will be accomplished. The Fauntleroy terminal will not be significantly decompressed, and the actual volume of service to Southworth will be minimally improved by number of boats, but not necessarily by available spaces. What may happen is the direct service to Vashon in the morning and from Vashon in the afternoon will be significantly decreased, and total portage time will increase.

As was stated during the community discussion, this will have impact on the island economy and safety issues, and of course is significantly inconvenient. Vashon has a different set of needs than Southworth or Fauntleroy, given the services available on-island are limited, thus the need for off-island commute is of more import. As far as could be determined, the proposed schedules will not accomplish the stated goals and will have unintended consequences of significant harm to the island community. WSF must hold action until effective analysis of need is accomplished, reasonable allocation of resources can be proposed and island impact accurately studied.

As a ferry-dependent community, we must have sufficient information and time to respond to the WSF proposals from the people it will impact.

— Harley Goldberg

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