During the previous two media briefings we’ve covered regarding the upcoming 9-day, 10-night Alaskan Way Viaduct closure (October 21-31), there hasn’t been much information available about how the West Seattle Water Taxi will be made more usable for the duration – though there were promises that the information was forthcoming. The first major round of updates has just been provided by County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who is also chair of the King County Ferry District Board – details ahead:
This isn’t the final list of additions/changes, he stressed – there are a few more in the works. But for starters:
*They will add runs for the weekdays involved in the closure (Monday, October 24-Friday, October 25) – adding a 6 am downtown departure, 6:15 from West Seattle, then one in the “gap” leaving downtown at 9:30 am and West Seattle at 9:45, plus a 7:15 pm downtown departure and 7:30 pm West Seattle departure. (Fridays, of course, already have later runs, so that one is just for Monday-Thursday of that week.) There also will be some time shifts in mid-afternoon, for the runs during and right after the 3 pm hour.
*Shuttle times will correspond to the boat times, Councilmember McDermott promised, including adding a later shuttle.
*The shuttle size will be increased for the week, from the current 19-person bus to a 30-person bus (but note that the temporary, larger substitutes will not be “Water Taxi-branded”).
*More commuter parking will be available. As already announced, Harbor Avenue parking will see some changes – clarified today as, water side of the street only, between Fairmount and Maryland, with signage prohibiting parking 2-5 am, so that commuters will have maximum access. Also, the city is giving up half the Don Armeni Boat Ramp lot to be used that week as Water Taxi parking, one car per stall (even those long ones).
Again, more announcements are expected to facilitate the maximum possible ridership during the Viaduct-less week. (If you missed our stories on the two previous briefings – here’s the one from this past Tuesday; here’s the original announcement confirming the 10/21-10/31 dates.)