(WSB file photo of the West Seattle Water Taxi, May 2011)
There’s scheduling news from today’s meeting of the King County Ferry District Board – county councilmembers wearing their marine hats, overseeing West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi operations. First, one small tweak that local families say will make a big difference; second, a big-picture commitment that should be a relief to local professional sports fans. Details on both, ahead:
First, the “small tweak” comes with some backstory.
Last fall, a local mom named Julie cc’d us on an e-mail campaign she and dozens of other local families had launched, to ask that the Water Taxi’s mid-afternoon sailing stay at 3:45 pm in the spring/summer, the same time that afternoon sailings start in the fall/winter. The families have kids who go to school downtown and get out around 3; they can make it to Pier 50 for the 3:45 run, but the 3:30 run is cutting it close. Once Julie found out there was no operational reason for the change between seasons – that it was “random” – she requested that it stay the same. And so, the Ferry Board approved the tweak today, agreeing on the value of keeping “a consistent schedule,” as West Seattle’s County Councilmember Joe McDermott – who chairs the Ferry District Board – put it when we contacted him to confirm this.
He added in his reply that the board also today “adopted a formal policy as we said we would late last year regarding game-day service. The policy states: ‘It shall be the policy of the King County Ferry District to extend its Sunday through Thursday summer schedule of service for the West Seattle water taxi service to accommodate game day end times for professional sporting events at Safeco Field and CenturyLink Stadium with game end times later than the regular schedule of service.” While the Water Taxi generally has made those runs during the spring/summer season, it hasn’t previously been a formal policy – now it is. (Read the official document here.)
(P.S. Before you ask – yes, we asked; way too soon to say whether that policy will be expanded to include the expected future basketball arena.)