Update: West Seattle Water Taxi canceled Tuesday morning, too

January 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm | In King County Water Taxi, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

6:10 PM: Multiple reports via Twitter and e-mail of engine trouble just as the 5:45 pm West Seattle Water Taxi run from downtown was arriving at Seacrest. Checking on its status.

(Photo by Bill Schrier – looking down toward engine room before docking at 6 pm)
6:25 PM UPDATE: It’s just been confirmed by King County, the West Seattle Water Taxi is canceled for the rest of the night. That means no 6:15 or 6:45 runs from downtown, no 6:30 or 7 pm runs from West Seattle. We’re expecting an update later on its status for tomorrow.

9:24 PM UPDATE: It’s also just been announced, the West Seattle Water Taxi will be canceled for Tuesday morning, too. Too soon to say what’ll happen Tuesday afternoon.

15 Comments

  1. They just announced that the West Seattle water taxi is having mechanical issues and is cancelled for the night.

    Comment by Broeck — 6:17 pm January 30, 2012 #

  2. Just checked the water taxi web site – no new updates and not mention of plans for tomorrow. The site does not even say the water taxi is out of service.

    Comment by raincity — 9:25 pm January 30, 2012 #

  3. Hi, Raincity – I just updated this story 10 minutes ago and it does indeed have the information about tomorrow morning (follow the link in my update line) – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:34 pm January 30, 2012 #

  4. Sorry I missed that – the king county website does not show it yet (http://www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/WaterTaxi/WestSeattleRoute.aspx), but I did just get their email. Bummer.

    Comment by raincity — 9:40 pm January 30, 2012 #

  5. That vessel is a lemon.

    Comment by wswalker — 10:08 pm January 30, 2012 #

  6. RC – for future reference, they never put the alerts on that page … they’re always on the News/Alerts page, which is where I found it right after getting the text at about 9:15. I know, seems non-intuitive:
    .
    http://kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/WaterTaxi/NewsAndAlerts.aspx

    Comment by WSB — 10:13 pm January 30, 2012 #

  7. Again?

    Comment by TheHun — 11:37 pm January 30, 2012 #

  8. The county probably wouldn’t argue with you, WSW, and in case you’ve missed previous coverage, they are proceeding with building new boats for both WT routes – mostly funded with federal grant money.

    Comment by WSB — 12:23 am January 31, 2012 #

  9. How the heck can that thing break down so much, when the run is how close? Must be all that starting and stopping.

    Geez, sure is keeping the on-call State Mechanics paid mega bucks, out of taxpayers pockets.

    Comment by Caprial — 6:31 am January 31, 2012 #

  10. WSB, yes I have heard, and based on recent ferrys built we should just rebuild the Kalakala.

    Comment by wswalker — 6:51 am January 31, 2012 #

  11. Certainly can’t help to convince people to get out of their cars when the alternative mode of transportation is unreliable.

    Comment by KT — 7:49 am January 31, 2012 #

  12. Since the water taxi itself wasn’t running this morning, why were the water taxi shuttle buses still running?

    Comment by TW — 8:37 am January 31, 2012 #

  13. Relax people, anything mechanical is bound to break down! All the starting/stopping and running at idle speed when approaching the piers is a lot harder on a diesel engine compared to the WSFs that run a longer period at cruising speed. (and I am a regular WT rider). Don’t worry I will take the bus to keep one less car of your precious roads as you drive your cars by yourself. Your welcome.

    Comment by Dizzle — 9:10 am January 31, 2012 #

  14. KT, given the age of the boats, and the fact that there are only two of them serving two routes, it’s actually pretty reliable. I’ve been riding mornings for nearly a year now, and evenings since the viaduct shutdown. Let me describe my experiences compared to bus:
    .
    On-time performance: Outstanding. If they leave the dock late, it’s usually within three or four minutes, and they make up the time in the crossing. No missing a transfer due to the boat. Unless I’m catching metro at the start of a run, I can count on it being 5 or more minutes late. The 56 back to W. Seattle? 5 minutes commute time, after hours (when it’s originating in Ballard), at least 10 – 15 minutes.
    .
    Mechanical failures. Three that I can recall affecting my ride. Two resulted in cancelled runs, and on one they were able to put the Victoria Clipper in on the Vashon run for a day or two and put the Melissa Ann on the WS run. In the last six months, I’ve had two or three mechanical failures on Metro affecting my ride. Of course, Metro has a large fleet of coaches, and can put on on the road to pick up the slack. the KC ferry district doesn’t have that luxury (and if they did, someone would raise a stink about boats sittin’ idle!)
    .
    Unfortunately, that last caveat in my second point is what will bite the service repeatedly. If folks would look at the service for what it is, and what resources are available, they really do remarkably well.
    .
    Maybe if folks would stop spouting negative comments, which are based on appearance, rather than facts, ridership would increase even more than it has been (up this year over last — even without the increases due to the viaduct closure in the autumn).

    Comment by Mark K — 10:39 am January 31, 2012 #

  15. TW – There’s a fair number of people who use the shuttles as their commute, independent of the Water Taxi. They can also be used to get folks to other transfer points while the taxi is not running.

    Comment by Mark K — 10:43 am January 31, 2012 #

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