Per survey, WSF passengers want reliable service, new tech

After seeking input from ferry passengers to help shape its long-range plan, Washington State Ferries has shared the findings of public meetings and a broad survey, concluded in May. WSF’s report outlines areas identified by the public as means of improving service into the year 2040.

With 869 total responses, public comment generally focused on key points such as increased service reliability and the need to build new vessels while maintaining an aging fleet; ideas for how to manage pressure on ridership, such as expanding vehicle reservations and the consideration of new routes; suggestions for improving overall accessibility, including offering real-time schedule information, and reducing carbon emissions in the interest of climate change.

“As the region continues to grow, we need a ferry system that promotes mobility and allows people to thrive and participate as active members of their community while supporting our natural environment,” said WSF in the community engagement summary.

Overwhelmingly, commenters addressed the importance of standby vessels to avoid service disruption. Additionally, riders feel strongly about additional passenger-only service, as well as making improvements to transit connecting with the ferries and offering more accommodations for people with disabilities. Mobile ticketing and text alerts were also favored among many of the survey responders, with some asking for better Orca Card integration and a simplified fare system.

Many of those who responded to the survey were concerned about WSF’s ability to sustain service in the event of an emergency, as well as new challenges due to rising sea levels and resulting effects on existing infrastructure.

Initial public outreach included feedback from islanders, with WSF officials leading an open house at Vashon High School on April 24.

A draft working plan will be released to the public sometime later this year and be open to public comment for 45 days, with the second round of community meetings occurring in the fall. The final draft plan will be submitted to the state legislature in January.

“Over the next few months, we will continue assessing system needs and potential service scenarios and investments. We will consider our customers’ priorities, along with technical analysis, as we develop the draft plan,” said WSF in the recent report. For more information about the long-range plan, see and click on “Plans, Publications and Statistics.”

More in News

School district officials tell legislators: sustainability, solvency at risk

The Vashon Island School District is projected to face a $600,000 shortfall… Continue reading

Experts relocate osprey nest near VHS field

Last week, a family home close to the high school and new… Continue reading

Joe Nguyen, newly elected to state senate, looks ahead

Joe Nguyen, the son of Vietnamese immigrants and a lifelong resident of… Continue reading

With comment period closed, WSF will hold meeting in West Seattle Dec. 5.

The comment period for the proposed ferry schedule for the triangle route… Continue reading

Islanders protest Trump’s attorney general pick

A crowd of 70 islanders, joined by the Backbone Campaign, protested at… Continue reading

Weekend celebration will honor island elder

Vashon’s Quaker community is hosting an unusual version of a celebration of… Continue reading

Island-wide power outage scheduled for Thursday night

Outage will last anywhere from a few minutes to 30 minutes.

Water district to discuss raising rates

Water District 19 will hold a meeting next Tuesday, where commissioners will… Continue reading

Funding primary care is focus of health collaborative

Neighborcare is expecting a $350,000 operating deficit this year at the Vashon clinic.

Most Read