This problem has been growing and festering for eight years, since the Legislature stripped away the motor vehicle excise tax funding, with no replacement. Where were all the voices, I’m hearing now, over the last eight years?
There were never any spare boats. Now we’ve decommissioned the four steel electrics, and there have been problems with others. No new boats have come online since the Jumbo Mark II’s, even though the Legislature authorized 144-car boats in 2001.
The only way we will find addtional capacity on the “triangle route” in the foreseeable future is walk-ons and ride- sharing. This problem won’t resolve itself until more people, like myself, leave their cars behind.
Let’s expect more from WSF
Last month The Beachcomber printed my letter titled, “Riders sending wrong message,” in which I reacted to the complacency of Washington State Ferries’ (WSF) customers. Since ferry schedules and fares are soon to be discussed during the upcoming gubernatorial election (Dino Rossi has already showed an interest in the ferry system and its financing), I offer that we ferry riders should not be so accepting of what the WSF offers.
This accepting attitude seems to be pervasive and clearly supported by the news media. While watching a NWCN news story about the problems with last month’s changes to the WSF Vashon sailing schedule, the commentator quotes a Vashon merchant as saying, “It could be much worse.”
What? It could be much worse? It could also be much better!
Ferry riders should start acting like the consumers that they are and demand better service from WSF — service for which we as Washington state taxpayers spend a great amount. WSF riders should not be happy and settle for what they’re given but, rather, should expect more.
Put Port’s excess towards ferries
The Port of Seattle’s ongoing controversies, bad budgeting and desire of some of its board members to end the property tax subsidies (which we all pay), may be an opportunity for Vashon commuters.
Why not divert the property taxes we pay for the Port to a ferry ticket price stabilization scheme or some similar type of arrangement?
I, for one, would feel better about that portion of my property tax bill being spent on something positive!
It gets dumped?
I had an interesting conversation last week with the nice fellow who picks up our recycling. I had gone out to talk to him because recently his truck had been too full to take our glass recycling.
As he explained but said, “You didn’t hear this from me,” it turns out that the “recycling” service that we pay for every month actually doesn’t recycle the glass — they break the glass, collect it all into one big dumpster, then haul it off to the dump. Am I wrong, but didn’t we just pass a law in King County that our recyclable materials must not be dumped into the trash or we’d be fined?