As we reported a few hours ago, Washington State Ferries has gone public with the revised version of its Draft Long-Range Plan (see it here). It includes significant changes to the proposals for the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run – most notably, the proposal to expand the Fauntleroy dock is out. Here’s the excerpt:
WSF concurs that the draft Scenario A did not adequately address the growth and operational issues associated with the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route. The revised proposal adds a fourth, small vessel to the route, operating as a shuttle between Vashon and Southworth. This allows the other three vessels on the route to operate in direct service between Fauntleroy and Vashon and between Fauntleroy and Southworth, better utilizing the capacity on those vessels and increasing overall efficiency on the route. It also increases capacity for Southworth, which is one of the areas slated
for high growth.
Based on comments heard at the Fauntleroy public hearing and comments received by the City of Seattle, the concept of expanding the Fauntleroy dock (as proposed in the draft Scenario A) is not viewed as feasible. As a result, the project has been removed from the Revised Draft Plan, and WSF will investigate all possible roadway and right-of-way options, if expanded vehicle holding is needed.
The other major proposal for the Fauntleroy dock, adding an overhead loading system for walk-on passengers, is still in the plan. Meantime, under Scenario A, here are more specifics on what size ferries would serve the broken-up “Triangle” route:
• Two 124-car vessels, operating in direct service between Fauntleroy and Vashon
• The two 87-car Evergreen Class vessels would be retired in 2015 and 2017 and replaced on the route with 124-car vessels
• One 124-car vessel, operating in direct service between Fauntleroy and Southworth
• A small vessel, operating between Vashon and Southworth to allow for direct service on Fauntleroy-Vashon and Fauntleroy-Southworth and increase the overall capacity on both of these routes.
The proposal says that “small vessel” would be the Hiyu, which carries 34 cars, until it’s potentially replaced “in 2027 with a used 40-50 car vessel at a cost of $12 million” (2008 dollars). Next steps: As detailed in our earlier report, both Transportation Committees in the Legislature have work sessions scheduled in the coming week to review the revised WSF plan. The ferry system says it’s also continuing to collect and forward comments at email@example.com. Meantime, the plan’s status also will be on the agenda at the regular monthly FCA meeting at 7 pm February 10th and an FCA-sponsored community gathering at 7 pm February 18th.