Ferry followup: WSF boss apologizes for Monday’s cancellations

February 7, 2014 at 4:35 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

Back on Monday, you might recall, early-morning runs were canceled on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route, which then was on a one-boat-short schedule until noon, leading to backups. It wasn’t a case of post-Super Bowl sickout, and it was no last-minute surprise, confirmed WSF boss David Moseley in his weekly “newsletter” today:

I want to apologize to customers of the Fauntleroy/Southworth/Vashon Island (triangle) route for the service disruption experienced on Monday morning when we went to a two-boat sailing schedule due to a lack of available crew. We had vessel maintenance and crew training scheduled for Monday and when we realized that we could not cover shifts, we should have canceled training and asked that the crews to report to the vessel. I have made it clear that should this same situation occur in the future, we need to prioritize service.

WSDOT tweeted that morning that 200 calls had been made but fill-ins couldn’t be found. The tweet mentioned maintenance but not training.

15 Comments

  1. So what’s the excuse for it taking four days to (come up with an excuse) apologize?

    Comment by DTK — 5:07 pm February 7, 2014 #

  2. and they keep raising the rates!

    Comment by kjb — 5:33 pm February 7, 2014 #

  3. That’s Unions For Ya.

    Comment by D.D.S. — 7:21 pm February 7, 2014 #

  4. This had NOTHING to do with the Super Bowl on Sunday, and the massive parties that followed. 4, 5, 6 am ferries Monday morning? No relation…

    Comment by Charles — 9:37 pm February 7, 2014 #

  5. This is not a union issue and DDS shouldn’t be displaying such gross ignorance and hate on this board.

    Comment by Dwight Gaut — 10:07 am February 8, 2014 #

  6. It may interest you to know that the safety and security seminars notices are sent to the employees three weeks prior to the classes,and the administration knew on or about Thursday January 23,2014 that the positions of Captain and Chief Mate could not be filled.Could they have at least notified the public on Sunday February 2,2014 that there would be a possibility(probability)of a two boat schedule on the morning ofMonday February 3,2014 ?

    Comment by Rachel B — 11:44 am February 8, 2014 #

  7. Thanks, Rachel. They did send the notice on Sunday – but not until very late at night. We published it at 11:41 pm – http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/west-seattle-ferry-alert-cancellations-2-boat-schedule-monday-for-fauntleroy-vashon-southworth – it hit the WSB mailbox at 11:17 pm.
    .
    Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 11:48 am February 8, 2014 #

  8. WSF wanted to propagate the myth that this was a union issue. The union busters in their midst know exactly what they are doing.
    IBU is too weak to fight back in the media.

    Comment by pigeonmom — 1:16 pm February 8, 2014 #

  9. Television media was already insinuating a sickout by the unions on their 11pm broadcasts Sun night. Surely, they caught themselves before their usual union bashing, so as to give an unofficial wink and a nod for the rest of western Washington to abandon their jobs and encouraging kids to play hooky. It is bewildering that for each managerial service blunder ferry officials cause, that a brief apology seems the only disciplinary action necessary for disrupting thousands of people’s schedules. Many of whom, risk termination from employment or are simply late to obligations and responsibilities. Furthermore, pigeonmom nailed it. Ferry officials know they can continue their agenda unfettered, while major dereliction of duties are given a pass with a simple apology. Also, knowing it’s gold in the media, it’s easy to scapegoat their self-inflicted manning and scheduling problems on unions with little or no opposition. Most major organizations know redundant systems are necessary to guarantee consistent operations. WSF officials fought vehemently against the unions and Coast Guard to skeletonize crew sizes to consciously operate on a shoestring. Knowing full well one flat tire or any unforeseen absence could throw the whole system into chaos, blaming union employees would be the public’s most logical conclusion. There’re several other practices officials refuse to reform in order to adapt and alleviate manning and scheduling issues. So, if they’re allowed to continue to schmooze and coerce the media into belief, while pleading innocence/ignorance for dysfunctional occurrences they’re ultimately in control of, then a fabricated tear and a casual apology will be all that’s necessary from leaders controlling one of the largest ferry systems in the world. Hopefully, the genie may be out of the bottle and some of their tactics will be recognized by savvy media organizations.

    Comment by 009 — 4:35 pm February 8, 2014 #

  10. It was a bit quieter on Fauntleroy. Thanks.

    Now, charge British Columbia ferry rates and really get folks worked into a foaming lather.

    Comment by Genesee Hill — 4:51 pm February 8, 2014 #

  11. I am no fan of unions but this is a management issue. If you can’t plan ahead for known events, you have no business managing the system. If your employees don’t want to come in on their day off for extra money, you have to think to yourself “do I suck so much that Joe won’t help me out?”.
    .
    Like many other places, the ferry system must use the FUMU method of promotion: Foul Up, Move Up… You only get the cream of the crop in management. LOL.

    Comment by Eric1 — 5:44 pm February 8, 2014 #

  12. Yo, Dwight
    Where is the gross ignorance & hate.

    Comment by D.D.S. — 8:02 pm February 8, 2014 #

  13. I always make myself available for overtime,not usually for the money but to help out.But if you call in sick,the dispatch turned against you,they are vicious but when they want you ,they are so nice.So why would we try to help when they are only there to use you.The office of Wsf are all liars….

    Comment by marrissa — 8:45 pm February 8, 2014 #

  14. like any other public-service operation ,head of operations dosn’t mean they know what end is up. just that they are politicaly connected or just been there longest. with civil-service if you work hard and DO YOUR JOB WITH GUSTO, you are singled out as a trouble maker, you are making the lazy ones look bad.

    Comment by Robert — 7:27 am February 9, 2014 #

  15. I’d like to see the state ferries become a private enterprise instead of the inefficient bureaucracy that it now is. When San Francisco privatized its system, services were vastly improved.

    Comment by phil dirt — 6:34 am February 12, 2014 #

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