Water Taxi up for summer, down for August (but with a caveat)

September 15, 2008 at 6:01 pm | In Elliott Bay Water Taxi, Transportation, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Latest numbers in from County Councilmember Dow Constantine‘s office – the Elliott Bay Water Taxi is still headed for a recordbreaking season, up 9 percent overall this summer, though last month’s ridership was a bit down from same time last year (remember the Water Taxi crowds because of Freeway Fright ’07?). Here’s the official announcement:

Water Taxi rides into fall at a record pace
Summer ridership totals well ahead of 2007

The Elliott Bay Water Taxi continued its record pace through the month of August, with summer season ridership up by more than 9 percent over last year’s best-ever numbers.

August’s 40,231 riders represented the third-best month in the Water Taxi’s decade-long history. The top two months for the West Seattle-to-downtown passenger ferry were July 2008 (42,436 riders) and August 2007 (43,020 riders). Last August’s big numbers were caused in part by the two-week closure of several lanes of Interstate 5, which convinced a record number of commuters to use this transit alternative.

“The Water Taxi notched its second straight month with more than 40,000 riders and we’re on pace for another record-breaking year,” said King County Councilmember Dow Constantine. “Public interest in waterborne transit is at an all-time high as we prepare to take the Water Taxi to year-round operation in 2010.”

The King County Ferry District took over Water Taxi funding this year. This countywide special district also funds the operation of the Vashon Island-to-downtown passenger-only ferry and is expected to add up to five demonstration routes serving other Puget Sound and Lake Washington communities in the next few years.

This year, the Water Taxi is scheduled to run till October 31st.


  1. Why do we have to wait until 2010 for year around service? Look at the bridge traffic, Spokane being shut down, new development in WS. 40,000 people need transportation help!!!

    Comment by star55 — 8:46 pm September 15, 2008 #

  2. So, where’s the “one caveat”? What are we supposed to beware of?

    Comment by Michael — 12:36 am September 16, 2008 #

  3. Warning to not take too much stock in the August drop because last August’s stats were inflated by the effects of Freeway Fright. Closest to the informal usage described here:

    Comment by WSB — 12:49 am September 16, 2008 #

  4. Not much of a warning. It’s more like a “qualification.”
    Then again, I only expect precision from those who use language for a living. :)

    Comment by Michael — 10:22 am September 16, 2008 #

  5. I believe the wait is because there is no money to extend it and they needs to find a new dock for winter landings.

    Comment by Suits are not boring — 12:23 pm September 16, 2008 #

  6. The Ferry District is collecting the new property tax and they do have money. You can go to this link to find out about the Ferry District: http://www.kingcountyferries.org/default.aspx
    This link gives you info on the Ferry District Board meetings and videos of the proceedings: http://mkcclegisearch.metrokc.gov/calendar/search.aspx?body=142#current

    We need to let the Ferry District Board hear from us that we want year around service, a safe all-weather dock in West Seattle, and better ticketing and loading of passengers – at both ends of the journey.

    Comment by William — 12:06 pm September 17, 2008 #

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