VashonBePrepared to partner with Islanders for Ferry Action

The decision came in the wake of news that Washington State Ferries has now dropped its ferry restoration plan.

The board of VashonBePrepared, the island’s longstanding nonprofit coalition of disaster preparedness organizations, voted last week to support the work of Islanders for Ferry Action (IFA), a working group formed last September by the Vashon Chamber of Commerce.

The decision came in the wake of news earlier this month that Washington State Ferries (WSF) has now dropped its COVID-era ferry restoration plan, saying that full restoration of its routes, including the Triangle route serving Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth, will likely not be possible until 2028.

Previously, WSF had estimated the Triangle route might be restored by early 2024. Before that, four other routes — all but one of them serving communities also accessible by roads — were prioritized for full restoration ahead of Vashon, a completely ferry-dependent community.

In a resolution supporting the vote to support IFA, VashonBePrepared stated that WSF’s continuing degraded and reduced service to Vashon via state-designated marine highways SR160 and SR163 qualified, on multiple levels, as a crisis for Vashon.

“Our broken ferry service has had severe negative impacts on ambulance runs to mainland hospitals, mainland medical appointments, dialysis and chemo treatments, virtually everything we buy on Vashon including food, gasoline, hardware, and lumber, airport travel, access to workers who come to serve Vashon, including school teachers, healthcare workers, store clerks, and students who commute to schools on and off island,” the resolution stated.

Citing frequently canceled or late ferry runs due to mechanical failures and lack of staff, the resolution further stated that “emergency action should be taken to find immediate solutions to prevent devastating effects on the health, livelihood and education of thousands.”

In codifying its support, VashonBePrepared pledged to appoint one of its board members, Rick Wallace, to serve on the steering committee of IFA, and also set in place a fundraising campaign for the group, including a commitment to serve as its fiscal sponsor.

Last September, the Vashon Chamber of Commerce formed the IFA as an activist-based force and clearinghouse for documentation of Vashon’s ferry crisis.

The group’s work has included producing a 25-page report, published in November, about the harmful impacts of Vashon’s diminished ferry service, along with solutions to help mitigate ferry woes. (Read the report at

The group also hosted a meeting in September, attended by public officials, state legislators, and more than 300 islanders, seeking solutions to myriad difficulties facing islanders due to lack of reliable ferry service.

Cheryl Lubbert, Chamber president, defined VashonBePrepared’s partnership and fiscal sponsorship as an important step in the ongoing work of IFA.

The relationship will now allow IFA to seek tax-deductible donations to support its advocacy — an important consideration as the group is now seeking to hire someone who has experience advocating for change on a state, county and local level, she said.

Lubbert called Vashon’s ferry woes a multi-faceted crisis for the community, quoting Gov. Jay Inlee’s recent statement regarding WSF: “The state should do everything humanly possible to restore more reliable service on our boats, everything humanly possible, as quickly as humanly possible.”

Vicky de Monterey Richoux, president of VashonBePrepared, explained the board’s resolution to partner with IFA more simply.

“We know a crisis when we see it,” she said. “It’s a no-brainer for us to be involved — it’s totally in line with our mission.”

To find out more about the work of IFA, visit Find out more about VashonBePrepared and its coalition of disaster preparedness organizations at