West Seattle, Vashon water-taxi money in County Executive’s budget

September 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm | In King County Water Taxi, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

County Executive Dow Constantine also unveiled his budget plan today – and the county Department of Transportation calls our attention to the fact it includes the previously announced funding for new water-taxi vessels:

The 2013-14 biennial budget submitted today by King County Executive Dow Constantine includes $12.5 million for the design and construction of two new water taxis, subject to approval by the King County Ferry District. Federal grants will cover 80 percent of the total cost of the vessels with the balance coming from Ferry District revenues.

The County’s Marine Division currently operates passenger-only ferry service from downtown Seattle to West Seattle and Vashon Island using two twenty-plus year-old leased vessels that require frequent maintenance. The new boats are expected to carry between 225 and 250 passengers each.

Following approval of the budget, a request for proposals focused on vessel performance specifications will be issued. The county will then evaluate the proposals to determine which shipyard will construct the boats. The Marine Division anticipates issuing an award for construction of both vessels in early 2013.

The Marine Division expects delivery of the first vessel in early to mid-2014 with delivery of the second vessel expected by mid 2014.

5 Comments

  1. Water taxis lose money, plain and simple. It would make sense to wait until the county budget is more stable before investing in something that is sure to lose money. Island residents can ride on the existing ferries until that time.

    Comment by marty — 4:53 pm September 24, 2012 #

  2. This is GREAT news!

    Comment by SudsyMaggie — 6:17 pm September 24, 2012 #

  3. “It would make sense to wait until the county budget is more stable before investing in something that is sure to lose money.” Wouldn’t it make more sense not to invest in something that loses money? :) Also, 6.25 million per boat? Come on. What? Are they being built by the Chicago Teacher’s Union?

    Comment by Tuesday — 6:33 pm September 24, 2012 #

  4. Thanks Dow. With the completion of the tunnel, the water taxi would be the best mode of transportation the the downtown core of Seattle.

    Comment by tp — 7:35 pm September 24, 2012 #

  5. I commute via the WS water taxi 5 days a week. Love it. Old boats or new, it’s a great way to get to work. Having the ‘security’ of a new vessel that is less prone to repairs and break downs, so I can be SURE that I get to work, and don’t have to double back by car or bus, would be even better.

    Comment by Cheryl — 2:31 pm September 25, 2012 #

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