West Seattle Water Taxi starts 7-day-a-week schedule Monday

April 7, 2013 at 9:09 pm | In King County Water Taxi, Transportation, West Seattle news | 28 Comments

Reminder that the West Seattle Water Taxi starts its spring/summer/fall schedule tomorrow, which means not only 7-day-a-week operation, but also the return of midday runs, since the winter schedule only handles the morning and afternoon commutes. You can see the new schedule here. But don’t expect to see the newly acquired vessel Spirit of Kingston tomorrow; county reps told WSB earlier this week that crew members are training and other work is under way before they put it into service to replace Rachel Marie (shown above in a WSB file photo).

28 Comments

  1. If you’ve never been to Sydney, Australia, you may not be aware how awesome it is when the bus lines correlate and intersect with “water taxis” that cover routes just like busses.
    We already have a pretty sweet ferry system that is basically a marine highway. Family from Philly were shocked they could drive the rental car onto a boat, with scores of other cars.
    Seattle could totally rock a “water bus” (better description) system. If commuters could water bus from Kirkland to UW, or Ballard to Downtown, Downtown to Federal Way, Downtown to Edmonds.
    If only corruption and government waste wasn’t so rampant. Is it more so than Australia?
    If you’ve read this whole thing, congrats!

    Comment by Chuck — 9:44 pm April 7, 2013 #

  2. Like most West Seattleites, I drive my car because it’s more convenient. There’s barely any close parking at the water taxi and considering I’m not going to get rid of my car, thus canceling insurance, gas is actually cheaper than water taxi / bus fare to get to my job with free parking and it’s faster. Sorry environment, West Seattleites care, but not that much.

    Comment by Liberal Hypocrite — 10:31 pm April 7, 2013 #

  3. Who cares when there is no shuttle to get down there, more or less service to Alki anymore thanks to Metro.

    Comment by T — 11:19 pm April 7, 2013 #

  4. Lest someone see this and think otherwise, the Water Taxi shuttle buses do still run – 773 and 775. As of this moment, the new timetables aren’t up, so I’m not sure if they’re still running 773 to Morgan Junction part of the day this year – will check back later.

    Comment by WSB — 12:14 am April 8, 2013 #

  5. If most people from West Seattle drive to work as Liberal Hypocrite says, why are the RR C buses so full?

    Comment by West Seattle since 1979 — 7:20 am April 8, 2013 #

  6. Be aware if you do drive to the Water Taxi – they are ticketing cars on California Way (that’s the hill that goes up to California Ave). There are no signs indicating that you cannot park there, but you will get a ticket.

    Comment by dq — 7:22 am April 8, 2013 #

  7. Total waste of taxpayer money

    Comment by Nw — 8:08 am April 8, 2013 #

  8. Why are we cutting bus service, which is used by thousands of people, but still paying for a Water Taxi, which is used for only a select few?
    .
    I understand that it’s cute an it’s unique and everyone wants cute and unique transportation, but this is a luxury we can’t afford.
    .
    We need REAL solutions to our serious transportation problems, which affect thousands of people every day.

    Comment by JoAnne — 8:36 am April 8, 2013 #

  9. The RR-C are full-because they changed service/routes–from what I’ve read in comments. Watch out-if Metro doesn’t get the money it wants-more changes are on the way & they won’t be good ones. I don’t understand the reasoning of the city/county who continually push-and-or encourage using mass transit-or any alternative to driving yet balk at making it a bit more convenient to do that.A central parking structure in the junction so folks can park and ride????–no way. Some sort of parking area along Harbor Ave so more can take the Water Taxi(not everyone is close to the shuttle routes)???-nope.

    Comment by Gene — 8:43 am April 8, 2013 #

  10. The 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that 41.2% of Seattle workers commute by transit, carpool, bike, or walk.
    .
    http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Research/Population_Demographics/Overview/default.asp
    .
    The RR buses may be so full because I believe their goal was to maximize ridership on those buses while cutting bus routes in other parts of WS.

    Comment by Liberal Hypocrite — 9:12 am April 8, 2013 #

  11. For many people like me who commute between WS and downtown (in my case, near Pier 50 where the WS water taxi docks) but who don’t live near the Seacrest Dock on the WS end, and don’t live on or near the very limited route of the water taxi shuttle, it is both slower and more expensive to commute on the water taxi than on the bus.
    .
    Until at least one of these variables improves, the water taxi will remain a novelty reserved for occasional summertime weekend trips with out-of-town guests.

    Comment by Ben — 9:56 am April 8, 2013 #

  12. As a frequest water taxi user, I am excited to hear about the more frequent service! It is one of the unique options we WS dwellers have for our commute.

    Comment by L — 11:01 am April 8, 2013 #

  13. The comment by Ben is spot on! Most of us do not have an extra hour or more each way just to take the water taxi. First you have to get down there one way or another. Then you have to take the taxi and walk about 10 minutes at least to get to an office downtown. And then back again to get home. Of course the bus service is almost as bad and if you have to stay late at the office, you get the pleasure of waiting to see if a bus even shows up on street corners where you can be assualted by the drug addicts and gang members and when it does, you get to share it with sketchy homeless people and enjoy stopping at every single stop along the way. Mass transit for anyone other than those in the CD, Queen Anne and Capital Hill is a joke unless you have nothing but time on your hands to sit on an over-crowded bus.

    Comment by Rational Thought — 11:19 am April 8, 2013 #

  14. Welcome back full-service water taxi! I live in Westwood so the only way I can use it is if I bike to it (neither park & ride nor bus transfer are realistic options) but it sure is a heavenly way to get downtown.

    Comment by Kelly — 12:05 pm April 8, 2013 #

  15. Three cheers for the water taxi; it’s the best part of my commute to the UW.

    Comment by twofoursixeight — 12:16 pm April 8, 2013 #

  16. in response to ‘dq’. You are free to park on Califonia Way, but you will be ticketed if your car is out in the lane of traffic. As long as you are completely to the right of the white fog line then you’re OK.

    Comment by nate — 12:45 pm April 8, 2013 #

  17. Ben/Rational Thought,

    If you work anywhere in the south half of the downtown core, the water taxi is much faster than the bus. They almost always leave exactly on schedule and take really only 7 minutes to get across. At the worst, parking is a 5 min walk away from the boat on the West Seattle side. 5 min drive + 2-5 min walk + 7 min boat ride + + 5 min walk to work = the ~20 min most pleasant door to door commute possible. If your schedule changes in the evening and it isn’t an evening that a sporting event is going on, just take a car-to-go and drive to your parking spot in West Seattle. I love taking the water taxi.

    Comment by Water Taxi User — 12:46 pm April 8, 2013 #

  18. Water Taxi User,

    Where can I find (all day) parking near the water taxi? I live in Arbor Heights and our bus service is a joke.

    Thanks!

    Comment by peggieg — 2:44 pm April 8, 2013 #

  19. Peggieg,

    There is actually a lot of free street parking all along Harbor Ave SW (the main road going to Alki). People park north and south of the dock on that road. I didn’t realize this either when I first heard about the water taxi.

    Comment by Water Taxi User — 3:04 pm April 8, 2013 #

  20. I’d just clarify that there is usually plenty of street parking along Harbor Avenue if you take the 8:45 or earlier water taxi. If you try and take a late-morning WT on a warm summer day you might end up parking south of Salty’s.

    Comment by nate — 3:44 pm April 8, 2013 #

  21. There is tons of all day parking within 1/4 mile near the Water Taxi. Not sure if any of these detractors has ever even been down there. Most of the time I park and walk 3 minutes, so I guess if what you are looking for is a dedicated parking spot available within 100 feet of the dock, you would be disappointed.

    The Water Taxi is the most dependable, reliable transportation to downtown. Much more so than driving or taking the bus.

    Comment by BPP — 3:55 pm April 8, 2013 #

  22. The beloved water taxi takes all the parking along Harbor Ave. It’s a real pain for those who live here but also poor Seacrest Park is so crowded now days with divers, bicycles, walkers,restaurant, kyakers,tourists taking pictures,weddings, etc.etc. that park goers play second fiddle to the ferry. Seacrest was intended as a park, not a ferry dock! Maybe move it to underused Port property?

    Comment by Harbor Ave Res — 4:43 pm April 8, 2013 #

  23. I love the Water Taxi – especially when it runs on weekends! Great for heading downtown for shopping and sightseeing, or going to a game. No need to deal with downtown congestion or parking, and the ride is short and super-scenic. I’ve NEVER had a problem parking within a 10-minute walk of the dock, even in the height of summer. Plus, it’s a great, low-cost tourist attraction – much cheaper than a fancy tour boat. Best bargain in Seattle.

    Comment by Sonoma — 6:05 pm April 8, 2013 #

  24. Meanwhile the RapidRide, which is the only choice for the overwhelming majority is a planning disaster. Overnight, people’s lives have been upturned into an ordeal getting to and from work, and we just passively and docilely accept it.

    Sorry, I forgot, you can’t criticize anything Seattle; it’s the Utopia, you know.

    Comment by G — 6:31 pm April 8, 2013 #

  25. The new Seattleite loves the ‘idea’ of something, regardless of whether it’s practical or not. Water taxi’s zipping across the water? Cool! Just handfuls of people – who cares! Light rail? Cool, we’re a big city now! Forget that bus service is decimated. Oh, and even riding buses, I think that many people like being crowded standing room only, makes them feel like a ‘big’ city.

    Old Seattle, liberal or conservative or whatever, we all demanded practical, workable solutions to these kinds of issues.

    But that was old Seattle. Long, long gone.

    Comment by G — 8:19 pm April 8, 2013 #

  26. G-If more people could get to the water taxi I think it would be-if not at capacity-at least close. The current shuttle service just does not reach enough people.
    Taking the water taxi-does not mean you’d be getting off in front of where you want to go-but how many busses do that? Most folks I know that take the bus-still have to transfer-or walk a few blocks to get to work. Many employers will offer orca cards that include the water taxi. If your employer doesn’t-maybe you could ask?

    Comment by Gene — 9:21 pm April 8, 2013 #

  27. G, I remember.
    People here used to have common sense. No more.

    Comment by JoAnne — 7:33 am April 9, 2013 #

  28. In response to nate “(on California) As long as you are completely to the right of the white fog line then you’re OK.”

    Not true. Got a ticket completely to the right of the line. Jeep in front of me was further over, a full foot fron the line, also a ticket.

    BPP and the other wise people who think we don’t like to walk, try dropping a kid at school AND getting to the taxi in time to find parking and walk 1/4 mile. There’s just no way to catch the 8:45 to be to work on time.

    This will mean more cars on the roads, less ridership for the water taxi. No way around it.

    Comment by Junctionian — 7:18 pm April 22, 2013 #

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