Effective June 24, the King County Water Taxi will limit the number of bicycles per sailing on the vessels Sally Fox and Doc Maynard to 26 bikes, and bikes must fit within the marked bike storage area. Up to 14 bikes will be allowed on Spirit of Kingston sailings.
The Water Taxi has seen growing demand for storing bikes on sailings, especially to and from Vashon Island during peak bicycle season. According to King County Metro, this has created unsafe conditions for passengers when the demand exceeds the 26-bicycle capacity — leading customers to secure their bikes to handrails or within walkways or doorways.
A safety line was installed on the Sally Fox and Doc Maynard that depicts the maximum allowed length of a bicycle that can be safely secured in the onboard bike racks. To help riders confirm their bike is within the allowable dimensions, measuring boxes will be available. One box is installed at Pier 52, and boxes will be placed at the Vashon and West Seattle docks.
Riders will have options if there is no available storage or their bike is too long to bring onboard. They can either wait for a subsequent water taxi sailing, board a Washington State Ferry (WSF) to Fauntleroy, or store their bike at the bike rack provided by King County on the Vashon Island float. The bike rack and dock will be secured by locking the entrance gate by WSF after the last morning sailing on weekdays and remain locked when the water taxi is not in operation. The gate will be unlocked prior to the arrival/departure of the first afternoon sailing.
The Vashon route of the Water Taxi has three eastbound morning and three westbound afternoon sailings. According to King County Metro, the 7:10 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. sailings and the 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. sailings generally represent the peak demand service to and from the island. The sailings from Vashon at 6:10 a.m. and from Seattle at 6:30 p.m. typically have more bicycle stowage capacity.
The trips to and from Vashon carry a range of 100-278 passengers.