Where’s the ferry? WSF offers new ETA feature online

December 6, 2011 at 11:59 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle online | 2 Comments

If you use Washington State Ferries, from Fauntleroy or anyplace else, you probably know about Vessel Watch – the GPS-enabled online feature that shows you where any given ferry is at any time. WSF just announced it’s added a feature to Vessel Watch: The estimated time of arrival (ETA) for whatever ferry you’re keeping an eye on. Read on for the details:

The WSF news release:

Now there are no excuses to be late for winter holiday celebrations. Washington State Ferries (WSF) today launched a new feature that provides customers the estimated time of arrival (ETA) for vessels throughout the system.

ETA data is available at the bottom of the WSF VesselWatch page. The system calculates ETA based on a vessel’s current location, departure terminal and destination. It compares the GPS and historical sailing data to the record of similar vessels at similar locations along the same route. Factors such as weather and marine traffic conditions can affect the ETA calculations.

“I can’t wait for customers to try out this new tool,” said David Moseley, assistant secretary for Washington State Ferries. “It’s just one more piece of information that we can provide customers when they plan to take the ferry.”

This new ETA feature joins the customer Web-based toolkit, which includes VesselWatch, Best Travel Times and Terminal Cameras.

(We also have the Fauntleroy terminal camera on the WSB Traffic page.)

2 Comments

  1. Seems pretty silly to me. In my experience, the ferries are almost always on time, even when they are overloaded. Estimated wait times would be more useful.

    Oh, and also, their online schedule for the Bainbridge ferry over Thanksgiving weekend was just plain wrong. It didn’t agree with the paper schedule, which was correct.

    Comment by Eric G — 12:43 pm December 6, 2011 #

  2. Have to agree with Eric G, we take the ferry a lot and never have a problem with arrival times…it’s guessing how many boats I’m going to miss based on the length of the line that throws a wrench in things. I suppose it would be helpful when a boat is down or some catastrophe severely alters the schedule though.

    Comment by MB — 2:31 pm December 6, 2011 #

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