West Seattle Water Taxi trouble side note: New boats in 2014

August 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm | In King County Water Taxi, Transportation, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

(Photo of Rachel Marie and firefighters during this morning’s smoke incident, by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
1:55 PM: This morning’s West Seattle Water Taxi trouble (WSB coverage here) led us to ask about the status of the new boats that have long been in the pipeline. West Seattle’s County Councilmember, and Ferry District Board chair, Joe McDermott replied that the money for replacement boats is in this year’s budget: “80 percent of the funds are federal grant monies, and the required 20 percent match is from ferry district funds. Total cost for two boats is estimated to be $10 million to $13 million.” He says the Marine Division of the county Transportation Department is “taking the lead,” with a project-management firm hired and a request for proposals/qualifications under development, to go public by early next year, with “the new boats in service probably 2014.”

3:41 PM: The county subsequently has sent a news release on the same topic – see it here.

4:06 PM: Rachel Marie, by the way, has just been cleared to return to service, says the county, and will be back on the West Seattle run as of the 4:15 pm departure from downtown. Councilmember McDermott says, ” Some excellent work all day by the Marine Division. My appreciation to them and all of our riders for their understanding and cooperation.”

7 Comments

  1. Yay!

    Comment by NW Momma — 2:46 pm August 10, 2012 #

  2. A Question for Joe… The state has a “build them here” law for the state ferries, local labor had long sought. Will that be the case for these county boats, or will all our tax money be going out of state, to purchase an inferior product just because the bid was lower?

    Comment by Jim — 3:42 pm August 10, 2012 #

  3. Any feedback on the afternoon commute on the water taxi yet? i’m a little wary of jumping back on this afternoon…

    Comment by April — 3:42 pm August 10, 2012 #

  4. Yes! Rachel Marie was JUST cleared to return to service and will leave downtown at 4:15, per Jeff Switzer with King County DOT.

    Comment by WSB — 4:05 pm August 10, 2012 #

  5. Thanks! I’m on it right now, all systems go! I have to say that a day like today, with the issue this a.m., trying to get downtown without water taxi, and seeing the crazy traffic this afternoon, reminds me how grateful I am for the water taxi! We LOVE the water taxi! Hopefully it is here to stay!

    Comment by April — 5:51 pm August 10, 2012 #

  6. Hopefully the new vessels have more deck space up top, and better exhaust control.

    Comment by Bob H — 12:58 pm August 11, 2012 #

  7. @Jim, because 80% of the $10-13 million for the 2 new boats comes from Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants we are required to bid nationally.

    Comment by Joe McDermott — 12:19 pm August 13, 2012 #

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