As ballots go out today, the King County Water Taxi has become more and more of a political football in the campaign for county executive, with at least three candidates saying they want to end funding for the King County Ferry District, which runs the West Seattle-Downtown and Seattle-Vashon routes, and a new proposal from County Executive Kurt Triplett last week to shelve funding for “demonstration routes.” The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has just sent an open letter to county government, noting that anyone who wants to make sure the Water Taxi remains available to West Seattle might consider doing the same. Read on for the letter:
King County Executive
King County Courthouse
Dear Mr. Triplett,
The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is very concerned about reports we are hearing that plans for ferry operations may be cancelled which might include cancelling the King County Water Taxi which serves West Seattle.
We wholeheartedly appreciate the County Council’s work that resulted in its approval and formation of the King County Ferry District. That planning and approval constitute an obligation to which we wish to hold the council .
Creation of the King County Ferry District was insightful and serves a number of regions that are not so readily served by King County¹s Metro ¬ and light rail – transit systems. Residents of King County who do not have to deal with water barriers would, no doubt, be more supportive of the ferry system were they surrounded by water with essentially only a single bridge to connect a large population to jobs and required services.
West Seattle has experienced diminished service by the Metro system, witnessed the delay in projected service by a BRT system, and have not heard that the County plans to provide any light rail service to our community any time soon. Addiontionally, construction on the south end of the Alaskan Way Viaduct project makes an alternative commute system even more imperative.
The decision to support our community with ferry service was supported in whole by the King County Council. We applaud the Council for its decision to serve our community with a permanent Water Taxi service; it is a decision that must be carried forward, along with capital improvements already approved and scheduled.
Chair, West Seattle Chamber of Commerce
President & CEO
cc: Dow Constantine, Chair, Metropolitan King County Council
To e-mail the county executive, go here. To e-mail county councilmembers, go here. To e-mail candidates who have called for ending the Ferry District/Water Taxi service, find contact info on their websites: