Just one week to go till the Elliott Bay Water Taxi‘s last day of the ’08 season – after Halloween night, it’s done for the year. We got word today from Chris Arkills in County Councilmember Dow Constantine‘s office of not only some special plans for the final day, but also of something you can do to voice your support for the Water Taxi’s future – here’s the update from Chris:
The last day of the 2008 Elliott Bay Water Taxi season is Friday, October 31. This year’s season has been another recordbreaking year. As of the end of September, the Water Taxi carried 169,349 passengers in five months. Last year the Water Taxi carried 166,000 riders through October, so we will be setting a new record for ridership. Preliminary numbers from October indicate that there is still a strong and dedicated ridership for the Elliott Bay Water Taxi even as the fall weather has rolled in and the tourists have left town for the most part.
With one week of service left, it is a great time to get on the Water Taxi a few more times. Take a trip downtown or mix the Water Taxi into your commute. As a way of thanking the loyal commuters who ride the boat downtown every morning, there will be free coffee and donuts on the morning commuter runs between 6:30 and 9:30 on the last day. We hope you can join us on Halloween morning or sometime this coming week to ride one more time.
We are also tentatively planning a press conference midday on October 31 at Pier 55 to speak about the success of the 2008 season and to discuss plans for the future. Details will be coming soon about the actual time and the speakers attending and we will share them with West Seattle Blog early next week.
But while the season has been very successful, there are also challenges to the King County Ferry District as well. The Ferry District was created last year to take over the Vashon Island passenger ferry, the Elliott Bay Water Taxi, and to establish up to five new demonstration routes on Lake Washington and Puget Sound. Each year the Ferry District tax must be reauthorized and there are some in the county who do not support waterborne transportation.
There is a public hearing on the Ferry District scheduled for November 3rd at 1:30 at the King County Council Chambers on the 10th floor of the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue (Third and James), Seattle. It is important the the other members of the King County Council hear how much the Elliott Bay Water Taxi means to West Seattle. If you can spare the time to attend and testify we encourage you to do so. Speakers usually have 2-3 minutes to speak. If you can’t attend but want the Council to know how you feel about keeping the Water Taxi and the King County Ferry District moving forward, please consider sending them an e-mail. It is important for other areas of the county to understand what an important asset the Elliott Bay Water Taxi is to West Seattle and how its success can be replicated around the county. Contact information for members can be found here:
The vote on reauthorizing the King County Ferry District will occur on November 17, so it is important to share your views on the Elliott Bay Water Taxi and the Ferry District as soon as possible.