West Seattle ferry-alert update: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth schedule back to normal as of noon Monday

February 2, 2014 at 11:41 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 19 Comments

11:41 PM SUNDAY: Just in from Washington State Ferries:

Due to a lack of qualified crew, the following sailings are cancelled for Mon. 2/3:

4:05 am Vashon to Fauntleroy, 4:25 am Fauntleroy to Southworth, 5:00 am Southworth to Vashon and Fauntleroy, 5:50 am Fauntleroy to Vashon, and 6:10 am Fauntleroy to Vashon.

Beginning with the 6:15 am Vashon to Southworth sailing, the route will sail on a two-boat schedule. … Please see the two-boat schedule.

MONDAY 8:47 AM UPDATE: WSF says the three-boat schedule will resume as of noon.

11:59 AM UPDATE: Some context from WSDOT in this conversation with Maggie:

19 Comments

  1. Go Hawks!! We’re the Champs!!!

    Comment by WSince86 — 12:28 am February 3, 2014 #

  2. hahaha…must be the blu flu

    Comment by Vanilla Gorilla — 12:41 am February 3, 2014 #

  3. Ha, Victory comes with a price!! Sounds like the “qualified” crew may have to sleep it off for a bit ;)
    5:00 am is a bit early after such a win. I expect AM Traffic will be lite too. Lol!

    Comment by Supersized! — 2:27 am February 3, 2014 #

  4. when the truth really is,”Due to employees not being responsible with their drinking and not planning well ahead in advance, the general public who depend on these runs to get to work/home will suffer.” Thanks again WSF

    Comment by charlie — 3:56 am February 3, 2014 #

  5. The real story is probably something about funding cuts leading to absolute minimum staffing levels in the first place, so that anybody calling in sick for any reason leads to a shortage of qualified crew. Maybe on a different day you could call someone in from their scheduled day off.
    .
    I think they used to operate with planned staff redundancy, which meant (1) fares supported living wage jobs, with money continuing to circulate in the economy, and (2) if someone became ill, the boats still could run safely.
    .
    What does it say about what happens if the captain has a heart attack during a run? During bad weather, while crossing shipping lanes?

    Comment by Lura — 7:06 am February 3, 2014 #

  6. What charlie said… Sigh…

    Comment by eigenwijs — 7:13 am February 3, 2014 #

  7. I know one’s ill with flu that’s been going around the crew; did not get to really enjoy the game.

    Comment by RG — 7:16 am February 3, 2014 #

  8. The “shortage of qualified crew” actually happened a lot last year. Most of the time it “only” meant a cancellation of the earliest trip(s) of the day, before our morning traffic coverage in the 6 am hour, so we didn’t even mention it, but it drew citywide-media notice:
    .
    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2021796079_ferriesshortagexml.html
    .
    This time we mentioned it because a 2-boat schedule for much or all of the day has potential for spillover effects. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:19 am February 3, 2014 #

  9. Very irresponsible of both WSF employees and management. More idling cars, lots of nurses, bus drivers, teachers, doctors, DOT workers, pilots, police, etc. both unconvinced and possibly late for work.

    Comment by Maggie — 7:25 am February 3, 2014 #

  10. I’d rather be inconvenienced by a hangover call off than be riding the ferry when a drunk crew member screws up and hits something.

    Just because there was a big game yesterday doesn’t mean everyone drinks or drinks excessively. It is flu and cold season.

    Comment by Gate wood mom — 7:55 am February 3, 2014 #

  11. Have added to the story: WSF says it’ll be back to full three-boat service as of noon.

    Comment by WSB — 8:48 am February 3, 2014 #

  12. gatewoodmom–ya right, flu and cold season from 4am to 12 noon the morning after the super bowl!

    Comment by s — 8:51 am February 3, 2014 #

  13. Not everyone drinks

    Comment by Gatewood mom — 9:14 am February 3, 2014 #

  14. Maybe some of the Crew that are making it possible to restore service at noon, are coming in on their day off….

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 9:48 am February 3, 2014 #

  15. In response to Maggie’s inquiry on Twitter, WSDOT has provided some context. I’m adding their tweet to the body of the story here. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:59 am February 3, 2014 #

  16. I see no problem with it… I’m sure they all used their allowable sick leave hours. I use mine all the time. Sometimes, sh!t happens. Y’all need to relax

    Comment by Velo_Nut — 5:42 pm February 3, 2014 #

  17. Here is the real reason behind the story.

    Subject: Ferry Alert: Faunt/Va/SW – Cancelled Sailings – 2 Boat schedule in effect on Mon. 2/3
    Date: Mon, Feb 3, 2014 8:33 am

    All,

    According to my sources this morning, this was not actually a “lack of qualified crew.” The 2 boat schedule was inacted because someone in Admin neglected to schedule coverage for the captain and mate who were scheduled far in advance to be off this morning for training, so instead of filling the positions, the decision was made to simply wait for the next crew change at 11 this morning? So, it’s easier to just go to a 2-boat schedule and disrupt hundreds of commuters for the morning run than to look for a replacement captain and mate, especially when this alert was sent at 11:17 LAST NIGHT?? There were NO qualified substitutes to cover for this morning’s shift?

    If replacements were sought and unavailable, that’s one thing. At least an attempt was made. But if the decision was made to operate a 2 boat schedule INSTEAD of finding coverage, as it sounds like was the case, according to my sources, that is not good.

    By the way, had it occurred to anyone that the wording on this alert, given the timing of the Super Bowl victory, makes it sound like there was no qualified crew because people decided to not show up due to too much celebration? Because based on the conversations I was hearing on the 6:40 from SW this morning, that is the conclusion that was being drawn by commuters. And it effectively throws boat crew under the bus, as it were.

    Please clarify and correct if this information is incorrect. Because there are a LOT of unhappy Triangle Run commuters this morning.

    Thank you,

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Washington State Ferries [mailto:WSFAlert@wsdot.wa.gov]
    Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2014 11:17 PM
    To:
    Subject: Ferry Alert: Faunt/Va/SW – Cancelled Sailings – 2 Boat schedule in effect on Mon. 2/3

    Due to a lack of qualified crew, the following sailings are cancelled for Mon. 2/3:

    4:05 am Vashon to Fauntleroy, 4:25 am Fauntleroy to Southworth, 5:00 am Southworth to Vashon and Fauntleroy, 5:50 am Fauntleroy to Vashon, and 6:10 am Fauntleroy to Vashon.

    Beginning with the 6:15 am Vashon to Southworth sailing, the route will sail on a two-boat schedule. We apologize for the inconvenience. Updates will occur as more information becomes available.

    Please see the two-boat schedule at:
    http://www.wsdot.com/Ferries/Schedule/ScheduleDetailByRoute.aspx?route=f-v-s

    This alert was sent on 2/2/2014 at 11:17PM to subscribers of the Fauntleroy (West Seattle) / Vashon / Southworth route.

    Our Web Site is at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries

    You can change your account, anytime, at: https://secure1.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/account

    Please send any comments or suggestions you may have to WSFAlert@wsdot.wa.gov

    —————————————————————-
    This message is private or privileged. If you are not the person for whom this message is intended, please delete it and notify me immediately, and please do not copy or send this message to anyone else.

    Please be advised that, if this communication includes federal tax advice, it cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties unless you have expressly engaged us to provide written advice in a form that satisfies IRS standards for “covered opinions” or we have informed you that those standards do not apply to this communication.

    Comment by Ferry Employee — 10:24 pm February 3, 2014 #

  18. WSDOT tweeted, as noted in our story above, that more than 200 calls were made to try to find replacements.

    Comment by WSB — 10:54 pm February 3, 2014 #

  19. They just need to bring the staffing level up 1 person again. Like it used to be. Now they are finally paying tuition like they did before recession for upgrades in staff. (Lack of qualified staff) WSF needs new management. Waste on the Water!

    Comment by cj — 1:04 pm February 4, 2014 #

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