As the Elliott Bay Water Taxi continues its extra bonus month of commuter runs (M-F through November 2nd, plus two Seahawks home game Sundays 10/14 and 10/21), we get a new peek into its possible future, courtesy of documents prepared for a meeting today — the King County Council, meeting as the county Ferry District Board. A draft PowerPoint presentation linked to the meeting agenda contains the following proposals (major disclaimer, they’re only proposals until and unless they get official approval): Pier 50 downtown as the permanent terminal for the Vashon and West Seattle (Water Taxi) runs that the Ferry District would operate; Seacrest continuing as the WT’s near-term home, also in contention as its longterm home (along with Pier 2); three vessels to be leased by the county for the first years of Ferry District operations — one for the Vashon/Seattle run, one for the WT, one as a backup. (The draft presentation also contains extensive details of proposals for the Vashon/Seattle run that the county will be taking over from the state, as well as for “demonstration runs” between Seattle and TBA locations on the Eastside — Kirkland or Bellevue — North King County, and South King County.) And it envisions the Water Taxi operating an “extended” season next year — March through October — then starting year-round operations in January 2009. Last but not least, the presentation also looks at how Ferry District service will be paid for, and what it will cost; part of the $ will come from a property-tax levy, with the rate yet to be set. Again, all this is from a draft presentation to be given to councilmembers during their meeting as the Ferry District board at 1:30 this afternoon; you should be able to watch on cable TV or online (KCTV link here), and of course we’ll continue to keep you updated on what happens next.
West Seattle, Washington