West Seattle Blog... » King County Water Taxi http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 20:34:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Getting to the downtown Water Taxi & state ferry docks will change, starting Monday http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/getting-to-the-downtown-water-taxi-state-ferry-docks-will-change-starting-monday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/getting-to-the-downtown-water-taxi-state-ferry-docks-will-change-starting-monday/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 02:05:30 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=297271

(Photo of today’s foggy sunset, by Chi Krneta)
Take the Water Taxi from Pier 50? Or state ferries from Colman Dock? Downtown-waterfront access is changing downtown from next Monday through mid-May, as announced today:

(Photo from Seacrest at sunset, by WSB’s Patrick Sand)

All vehicles will enter the Washington State Ferries terminal at Colman Dock via Yesler Way as part of temporary changes being implemented by the State Route 99 Tunnel Project and the Elliott Bay Seawall Project. Terminal access will also shift for pedestrians, bicyclists and King County Water Taxi passengers and remain in place through May 2015. Through traffic north and south on Alaskan Way remains unchanged. Drivers/riders exiting Colman Dock via Yesler Way may see some intersection modifications this week as construction crews prepare for the Monday shift.

Access changes

View a detailed map of the following temporary changes near Colman Dock:
· Drivers will turn left or right into the WSF terminal from Alaskan Way at Yesler Way.
o For southbound traffic, one lane of Alaskan Way in front of the ferry terminal will be dedicated to ferry access.
o A left-turn lane will accommodate northbound traffic at Yesler Way.
o Vehicles will exit the ferry dock onto Yesler Way or Marion Street.

· Pedestrian access through the Seawall Project construction zone will be maintained to the WSF terminal in two ways: the current pedestrian bridge at Marion Street, and at street level immediately west of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Street level access will be maintained at all times, although it will shift at various points during construction.

· Bicyclists will enter and exit the ferry terminal on the north side of Yesler Way via the shared-use path.

· King County Water Taxi riders will enter and exit via Yesler Way.

· Passenger pickup and drop-off (including access for people with disabilities) will be shifted to the west side of the roadway between Marion and Columbia streets.

· Taxi waiting areas are also available at the current location on the east side of Alaskan Way between Marion and Columbia streets. A new taxi waiting area will – be added on Marion Street between Alaskan Way and Western Avenue.

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Transit alert: Water Taxi substitutions for next 2 weeks http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/transit-alert-water-taxi-substitutions-for-next-2-weeks/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/transit-alert-water-taxi-substitutions-for-next-2-weeks/#comments Sun, 14 Dec 2014 06:19:58 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=295262 According to an alert sent tonight to King County Water Taxi riders, the regular West Seattle Water Taxi vessel, Spirit of Kingston, is going in for annual maintenance, so for the next two weeks or so, starting Monday, Melissa Ann will be on the West Seattle run, and Victoria Clipper III will fill in for Vashon. Side note: We talked recently with Greg Lerner of the King County Department of Transportation Marine Division, and he says construction of the two new Water Taxis is on schedule; Sally Fox, the Vashon vessel, is set for delivery first, to be followed by the West Seattle vessel, Doc Maynard.

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First-ever ‘strategic plan’ in place, to steer King County Water Taxi service’s future http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/first-ever-strategic-plan-in-place-to-steer-king-county-water-taxis-future/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/first-ever-strategic-plan-in-place-to-steer-king-county-water-taxis-future/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 06:13:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=290984

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

While Metro bus funding and Sound Transit light rail have held the spotlight here lately, plans are being shaped for another transportation service’s future: The King County Water Taxis.

They’re in the just-approved, first-ever “strategic plan” for the King County Ferry District, which operates Water Taxi service on the downtown/Vashon and downtown/West Seattle runs – read the final version here or below:

One of the first steps to be taken is to end the Ferry District’s existence as a separate entity. The County Council is scheduled to vote on “assuming governance” of the district during its 11 am meeting tomorrow, one week after, sitting as the Ferry District Board chaired by West Seattle’s Councilmember Joe McDermott, it approved the strategic plan.

Another big decision ahead: Funding, with the plan describing the service as “”currently financially unsustainable given annual revenue, service costs, and current and near-term capital improvement needs.”

Consolidating the district into county government will help, according to the plan, because it “will eliminate redundant functions of the District and County. Separate District contracts for Legal and Accounting services can be terminated and Ferry District staff will not be needed. The annual savings from consolidation can go directly to providing services.”

But that won’t cover the gap, the report suggests. From the plan, here’s a chart showing what’s happened:

In the first two years of the King County Ferry District, its higher property-tax levy helped build up a reserve fund. Then the money it was getting from that levy was dramatically reduced so that Metro could use the taxing authority instead (here’s our 2009 coverage), and there’s been an “annual operating deficit since 2010″ – a $3.6 million gap last year, according to the new report.

This year’s costs are up because two new Water Taxi boats are being built – mostly federally funded, but still with a county share – and the county has a share of the costs for the new passenger-only-ferry terminal at Colman Dock.

The plan doesn’t recommend how much of a levy rate should go toward Water Taxi service, but suggests, “A sustainable levy rate going forward should consider the future capital costs of maintaining and preserving the current system.” And it notes that the service has improved its financial performance despite the tax situation:

In 2009, the first year the District operated both the West Seattle and Vashon routes, the farebox recovery ratio was 14.9% and the annual operating cost per rider was $14.47. By 2013 the farebox recovery ratio increased to 28.5% and the annual operating cost per rider decreased to $12.83.

According to Carrie Avila-Mooney in Councilmember McDermott’s office, no levy increase is expected through 2016, but the King County Executive would likely propose one for 2017-2018, and the County Council would have to approve it. Right now, the Ferry District is taxing county residents at 0.3 cents per $1,000 assessed value of property; the county has taxing authority up to 7.5 cents per $1,000.

That’s not the only suggestion the plan has for increasing operational revenue. It mentions “additional services with limited costs that would generate revenue for service (such as) dock leases, vessel maintenance services, and back-up vessel contracts. The water taxi could also evaluate advertising revenue potential or explore coordinated marketing opportunities with local businesses and organizations to boost ridership.” (Advertising space had been sold on the Water Taxi when it used the leased Argosy vessel Sightseer – local businesses, including WSB, could buy space for banners or painted signage on the boat.)

Another major task, and one that would carry an undetermined price tag: Solve the West Seattle terminal problem and find a permanent location. The county is in the sixth year of a ten-year lease for Seacrest, it points out, noting that “connections and parking at current terminals pose challenges. ”

Looking at a big picture that might also bring in a Lake Washington route (as studied in 2009) and might see the county manage future Kitsap County foot ferries, currently under consideration, the report suggests:

There is potential to grow ridership and expand service related to significant infrastructure projects near terminals, such as the Downtown Seattle waterfront development and a new Link light-rail station at the University of Washington.

To be specific, the plan suggestions, the Spirit of Kingston – now on the West Seattle route – could be “utilized in Lake Washington” service once the two new vessels for WS and Vashon arrive.

Regarding connections, the plan notes technological integration that currently exists, and more in the works:

The water taxi is fully integrated into Metro trip planning technology and One Bus Away. Also, the water taxi is currently working on a “Where’s My Boat” application to show where vessels are in real time, and should continue efforts in implementing the smart phone application.

Overall, the plan says that deciding on the level of water-taxi service the county wants to provide – continue with West Seattle and Vashon? add Lake Washington? or? – is the most important decision to make, to shape the next three to five years of operation.

SIDE NOTE: Plan input came from not only Ferry District directors (aka County Councilmembers) and county staffers but also from what Councilmember McDermott described as: “an advisory committee that included Greg Whittaker from the West Seattle Chamber and Victoria Nelson from the West Seattle Transportation Coalition. The advisory group also had representatives from regional transportation groups; PSRC, and the Cascadia Center, cities in King County; Kenmore, Kirkland, and Seattle, labor representation, and members from the greater business community. The advisory committee was very engaged and did excellent work in giving input into the plan.”

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And the winning Water Taxi names are … http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/and-the-winning-water-taxi-names-are/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/and-the-winning-water-taxi-names-are/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 20:47:03 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=284590

(Rendering of new vessels – reflecting size/shape/configuration, not final color/paint/trim)
Instead of the Spirit of Kingston, when the new West Seattle Water Taxi arrives next year, you’ll be riding the Doc Maynard. Just announced by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who chairs the county Ferry District Board:

After this summer’s public process, the King County Ferry District’s new boats have been named. Doc Maynard will serve the West Seattle run, and Sally Fox will bring riders from Vashon Island to Downtown Seattle.

“I want to thank everyone who got involved whether it was nominating names or voting for their favorites. The names reflect our community’s awesome history,” said Ferry District Chair Joe McDermott.

Doc Maynard was a Seattle pioneer and doctor.

(Added: Public-domain image of Doc Maynard, via Wikimedia)
As one of the primary founders of Seattle, Maynard’s friendship with Chief Sealth inspired him to propose the name of the city be named after his Duwamish friend.

Sally Fox fought tirelessly as a passionate advocate for passenger-only ferry service to Vashon. She organized the community and fought at the forefront of the movement to protect and expand this valuable service. Fox passed away in 2007 from esophageal cancer, but her spirit lives on through the results of her activism.

While Cobain Watertrain was a popular vote for the West Seattle run, it was determined there was too much licensing risk involved.

Mostly funded by federal grants, the new boats will start operating in 2015.

We’re asking about the actual numbers and will add whatever we find out.

P.S. Here’s Doc Maynard’s biography, via HistoryLink.org.

: Thanks to Councilmember McDermott’s office for the top three voting results for each vessel – first, West Seattle, then, Vashon:

Cobain Watertrain-32.75%
Doc Maynard- 22.75%
Princess Angeline- 18.74%

Sally Fox- 38.46%
Betty MacDonald – 29.29%
Lisabeula- 21.52%

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West Seattle Water Taxi sets monthly-ridership record: 50,000+ boardings in August as of midmorning http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-water-taxi-sets-monthly-ridership-record-50000-boardings-in-august-as-of-midmorning/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-water-taxi-sets-monthly-ridership-record-50000-boardings-in-august-as-of-midmorning/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 22:24:02 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=284035

(Mid-August Seacrest panorama by Robert Spears)
Recordsetting month for the West Seattle Water Taxi, and it’s not over yet. Just shared by County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who is also chair of the Ferry District Board, which oversees West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi operations, an announcement sent by Marine Division shoreside operations/customer-service manager Greg Lerner:

I wanted to let you know that today, on the 10:30 am sailing, our 50,000th rider for the month of August boarded our West Seattle boat, setting a new all-time record for the route. From a person who spent 10 years working with the West Seattle route at Argosy thinking we were doing well, I’m particularly proud of all of you for taking this route to the next level!

You can see month-by-month ridership for the past year and a half by going here and clicking the “West Seattle ridership” line to open it – last year’s biggest month was July, with 47,588. This year’s July ridership isn’t posted yet but June was the biggest month of the year posted to date, with 32,484.

P.S. The West Seattle Water Taxi will be in service on Labor Day, but using the Sunday schedule.

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Name the new Water Taxis, round two: Vote on your favorites from 11 finalists – 6 for West Seattle, 5 for Vashon http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/name-the-new-water-taxis-round-two-vote-on-your-favorites-from-11-finalists/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/name-the-new-water-taxis-round-two-vote-on-your-favorites-from-11-finalists/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:03:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=280481

(Rendering of new vessels – reflecting size/shape/configuration, not final color/paint/trim)
Four weeks after the King County Ferry District invited you to suggest names for the new Water Taxi vessels that are under construction, here comes Round 2 – your chance to choose between 11 finalists. Just out of the WSB inbox:

The process to name the King County Ferry District’s new vessels continues with public voting starting (today) and running through August 15, 2014. To vote, see surveymonkey.com/s/TTPBNZQ or call 206-477-3840.

“The public’s participation in this process has been incredible – we have received 326 different name nominations. People in this region really value this service,” said King County Ferry District Chair Joe McDermott.

The King County Ferry District’s Executive Committee has narrowed the names down to 11.

Now, the public has one final opportunity to name the vessels. This is the last step of the process. This final public vote will determine the names of the two new water taxis that will serve both the West Seattle and Vashon Island routes. The top names for each route will serve as the names of the two new vessels currently being built by All American Marine in Bellingham, WA.

The Vashon options include Sally Fox, Betty MacDonald, Lisabeula, Barbara Durham, and Lucy Gerand.

Sally Fox fought tirelessly as a passionate advocate for passenger-only ferry service to Vashon. She organized the community and fought at the forefront of the movement to protect and expand this valuable service. Fox passed away in 2007 from esophageal cancer, but her spirit lives on through the results of her activism.

Betty MacDonald was a prominent author, who notably wrote books such as Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and The Egg and I. Her humorous, autobiographical tales are still cherished today. The farm where McDonald wrote still exists on Vashon Island. Even after her tragic death by cancer at age 49, MacDonald still has a large, adoring fanbase to carry out her legacy.

Lisabeula is a park on the island that has a unique story behind the origin of its name. When trying to determine the name for a new post office on Vashon, the officer at the Post Office Department looked to two employees in the office, named Eliza and Beulah. He decided to combine the two names, resulting in Lisabeula, the name of the new post office and later, a waterfront beach park.

Barbara Durham was the first female chief justice of the Washington Supreme Court. She was highly respected by her colleagues. She served as a judge in Washington state courts at the district, superior, appellate, and supreme levels. She grew up on Vashon and graduated from Vashon High School in 1960.

Lucy Gerand was a Native American, longtime Islander who was one of the first to provide stories about her life on the island. She dug clams with her husband in Quartermaster Harbor and took the ferry to Tacoma where she sold them at the farmer’s market. She died of tuberculosis in 1929.

For the West Seattle vessel, the public can choose from Doc Maynard, Princess Angeline, Cobain Watertrain, Lushootseed, Lynn Campbell, or Dixy Lee Ray.

Doc Maynard was a Seattle pioneer and doctor. As one of the primary founders of Seattle, Maynard’s friendship with Chief Sealth inspired him to propose the name of the city be named after his Duwamish friend.

Princess Angeline was the eldest daughter of Chief Sealth and was a well-known and highly-respected figure in Seattle. She was the last living descendent of Chief Sealth, and did laundry and sold baskets, while living in a waterfront cabin near what is today known as Pike Place Market.

Cobain Watertrain is a name that might not require as much of an explanation. This name is a tribute to the legendary Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the grunge band Nirvana.

Lushootseed refers to the language spoken by many Salish tribes, including the Duwamish.

Lynn Campbell started the Spring Street Water Taxi in 1949, which ran crew and supplies to ships in Elliott Bay. He then started tours a couple years later and added Seattle Harbor Tours, which was eventually renamed to Argosy Cruises. Campbell offered deckhand and bartending positions for women and welcomed gay charter cruises at a time when venues were harder to come by for the community. This includes the Queen City Cruise (Tacky Tourist Cruise) which has its 24th annual sailing in August.

Dixy Lee Ray was not only the first woman to be elected governor of Washington, but she was also a marine biologist, associate professor at the University of Washington, and director of Seattle’s Pacific Science Center.

The voting opportunity will begin (today), and will close on August 15. To vote, go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TTPBNZQ, or call 206-477-3840.

We don’t know how many of the 326 potential names mentioned by Councilmember McDermott came from WSB’ers but we do note that five of them were mentioned in comments on our original story announcing your chance to suggest a name.

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You’re invited to help name the new West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi vessels http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/youre-invited-to-help-name-the-new-west-seattle-and-vashon-water-taxi-vessels/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/youre-invited-to-help-name-the-new-west-seattle-and-vashon-water-taxi-vessels/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 19:04:41 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=277671

(Rendering of new vessels – reflecting size/shape/configuration, not final color/paint/trim)
Just in from the King County Ferry District:

The King County Ferry District wants King County residents to help name the two new water taxis that will serve West Seattle and Vashon Island.

“This is a great opportunity to display your creativity and highlight your favorite part of our region,” said Joe McDermott, who chairs the King County Ferry District. “Anyone can submit name suggestions, so spread the word to your kids, friends, families and neighbors!”

The naming contest starts today. Individuals can submit their ideas at www.surveymonkey.com/s/2JNBGG2 or by calling 206-477-3840. Suggestions will be taken until Friday, July 18, 2014. The King County Ferry District will then narrow the names down before putting the final public vote forward to the public at the end of July.

To be considered for the final vote, names must contain regional relevancy, must not exceed two words nor have any inappropriate language. A boat’s name is said to reflect its personality, so the name should be in good taste. While this will not disqualify a name suggestion, it should be noted that maritime folklore says it is unlucky for the boat to be named after a living person who intends to ride the boat in their lifetime.

The new vessels are primarily funded through federal grants and are being designed and built by All American Marine in Bellingham. The new vessels will start serving riders next year …

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Ceremony marks construction start for new King County Water Taxi boats http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/ceremony-marks-construction-start-for-new-king-county-water-taxi-boats/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/ceremony-marks-construction-start-for-new-king-county-water-taxi-boats/#comments Sat, 26 Apr 2014 06:25:37 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=271518

At All American Marine in Bellingham today, a keel-laying ceremony marked the start of construction for the two new King County Water Taxi vessels.

(Artist rendering of new vessels’ basic design)
The boats are scheduled to be delivered next year, as reported here last December, with federal money covering 80 percent of their $11.8 million cost.

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Water Taxi rider alert: Detour for walking to downtown dock http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/water-taxi-rider-alert-detour-for-walking-to-downtown-dock/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/water-taxi-rider-alert-detour-for-walking-to-downtown-dock/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 20:51:09 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=267697 If you catch the West Seattle Water Taxi back home by walking to the downtown dock via Yesler Way – as we’ve done a few times while working at the courthouse this month – you’ll need to detour north to Columbia, starting today: The county just announced that the city’s seawall work is closing the Yesler/Alaskan Way crossing TFN.

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Update: West Seattle Water Taxi back in service Tuesday morning http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/west-seattle-water-taxi-out-of-service-for-rest-of-pm/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/west-seattle-water-taxi-out-of-service-for-rest-of-pm/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 23:30:43 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=267242 4:30 PM: Just in from King County via text – the West Seattle Water Taxi will NOT run for the rest of the afternoon/evening because the Spirit of Kingston has a mechanical problem.

9:41 PM UPDATE: It’ll be back to normal Tuesday morning, the county says.

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Speaking of transit money: Water Taxi fares increase in March http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/speaking-of-transit-money-water-taxi-fares-go-up-saturday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/speaking-of-transit-money-water-taxi-fares-go-up-saturday/#comments Mon, 24 Feb 2014 20:57:16 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=265972

(WSB photo from early February)
Water Taxi fares are going up this Saturday (March 1st), the King County Ferry District has just announced. Here’s what the new fares will be:

For the West Seattle route, that’s 75 cents more if you pay cash, 50 cents more pre-paid, 25 cents more for seniors/disabled people and youth 6-18 (prepaid). Kids 5 and under remain free. The Ferry District’s announcement also says West Seattle Water Taxi ridership for last year was up almost 3 percent over the year before.

ADDED: It should be noted that since the Water Taxi doesn’t run on weekends during the winter, the fares technically go up Monday (March 3rd).

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Super Bowl beats Viadoom! West Seattle Water Taxi sets record http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/super-bowl-beats-viadoom-west-seattle-water-taxi-sets-record/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/super-bowl-beats-viadoom-west-seattle-water-taxi-sets-record/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2014 00:30:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=264215

Another set of Seahawks Super Bowl victory-related numbers is in – the numbers from the special West Seattle Water Taxi schedule on Wednesday to help people get to and from the historic parade/celebration downtown (more photos in our Wednesday morning coverage).

Today, we asked King County Ferry District administrator AJ McClure for the totals, and he provided this one-sheet. Its introduction:

On Wednesday, February 5, the King County Water Taxi transported a record number of passengers for both its Vashon and West Seattle routes to view the Seahawks Championship Parade. The Vashon route, running its regularly scheduled service, carried 928 passengers. The West Seattle route, aided by an announcement by King County Ferry District Chair Joe McDermott to the West Seattle Blog the previous afternoon that we would provide midday additional service for the event, carried 4,587 passengers for the day. Chair McDermott also proclaimed that the Spirit of Kingston would be known as the M/V Steven Hauschka for the day in honor of the Seahawks placekicker.

Breaking it down – 2,289 passengers total on the West Seattle Water Taxi’s a.m. sailings, 2,298 on the p.m. sailings, adding up to that 4,587 total (with an added boat in the morning, once M/V Melissa Ann finished its a.m. Vashon route sailings).

Last time we remember lines like these was for the famous “Viadoom” Highway 99 closures – but the county also says this BEAT that, big time:

Forgot about Viadoom already? That was the multi-day October 2011 closure for the start of Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition. And remember, whenever the Highway 99 tunnel-digging gets going again, we’re facing a multi-day closure when the machine gets directly beneath what’s left of the elevated Viaduct, so stay tuned.

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Update: West Seattle Water Taxi WILL have extra runs for Seahawks parade – on ‘M/V Steven Hauschka’ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/west-seattle-water-taxi-will-have-extra-runs-for-seahawks-parade-on-the-mv-steven-hauschka/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/west-seattle-water-taxi-will-have-extra-runs-for-seahawks-parade-on-the-mv-steven-hauschka/#comments Tue, 04 Feb 2014 19:04:25 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=263909 (UPDATED 1:30 PM: Special sailing, shuttle schedules for Wednesday, added)

(WSB file photo)
11:04 AM: Just got word from King County Councilmember Joe McDermott – the West Seattle Water Taxi WILL have midday runs tomorrow for Seahawks Victory Parade goers. Full schedule will be out shortly (the first and last run times of the day won’t change – what WILL change is that it will run all day, including the period when it’s idle in the winter, 9 am-3:30 pm). And shuttle bus schedules WILL match the runs.

Bonus – remember the WSB commenters who suggested that the Water Taxi be honorarily renamed after kicker Steven Hauschka since he wasn’t included in the Washington State Ferries‘ honorary renames? Councilmember McDermott says that will happen for tomorrow, especially appropriate since Hauschka scored (early) offensive points on Sunday. (Poster image from King County added 5:54 pm)

12:19 PM UPDATE: Here’s the special Wednesday-ONLY sailing schedule as a PDF – this image is from that document:

Shuttle-bus schedule still being finalized, we’re told; we’ll add it when it’s available. (And if you’re thinking about driving to the dock, see our note from last night about free parking at Salty’s on Alki [WSB sponsor].)

1:30 PM UPDATE: Here’s a PDF of the special Wednesday shuttle-bus schedule (with the sailing schedule alongside):

See you at the dock!

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New King County Water Taxi boats to be built by All American Marine, but delivered later than originally hoped http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/new-king-county-water-taxi-boats-to-be-built-by-all-american-marine-but-delivered-later-than-originally-hoped/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/new-king-county-water-taxi-boats-to-be-built-by-all-american-marine-but-delivered-later-than-originally-hoped/#comments Tue, 24 Dec 2013 00:15:51 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=260055

(Artist rendering of new vessels’ design)
The King County Ferry District has just announced the shipbuilder chosen for the two new Water Taxi vessels: All American Marine, based in Bellingham. We’ve been reporting on the plans to have two new vessels built; the expected $11.8 million cost of designing and building them, the county says, will be 80 percent footed by the Federal Transit Administration. Each boat will be able to carry up to 250 passengers, more than Rachel Marie and Melissa Ann, leased three years ago, and more than the district-owned Spirit of Kingston, taken over last year, which will stay with the fleet. The new boats also will have wider doors for faster boarding and more bicycle capacity – 26 per boat, up from 18 now. Construction is expected to start in early 2014, with the first vessel delivered by mid-2015, the second one by the end of 2015 – that’s another delay beyond what the county told us about back in August, when the scheduled had slipped to late 2014 for the first boat. The budget also had to be increased earlier this year when no “responsive” bid came in to meet the original $11.1 million budget.

P.S. Speaking of the Water Taxi – neither route runs on Christmas Day.


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Reminder: West Seattle Water Taxi starts winter schedule Monday http://westseattleblog.com/2013/10/reminder-west-seattle-water-taxi-starts-winter-schedule-monday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/10/reminder-west-seattle-water-taxi-starts-winter-schedule-monday/#comments Sat, 26 Oct 2013 00:28:58 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=253923 One more reminder tonight from King County – the West Seattle Water Taxi starts its winter schedule on Monday, which means the next two days will bring its final weekend runs until spring. The winter schedule runs Mondays-Fridays, morning and afternoon/evening commute time periods only, with the first run from West Seattle to downtown at 6 am, and the last run back from downtown to West Seattle at 7 pm. See the full schedule here.

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