Busy night for West Seattle Water Taxi – plus, ridership stats

(Photo courtesy Debra Herbst, taken @ Seacrest this evening)
We hear the West Seattle Water Taxi is getting a sizable turnout for its extended service tonight with two big events downtown. Checking its website, we noticed ridership stats are published for the first half of this year – here’s the screengrab of the table:

It should be noted that the first two months of 2010 (April and May – year-round service didn’t start till 2011) were reported as significantly down from the year before; we are still checking the archives for other longer-term comparisons.

11 Replies to "Busy night for West Seattle Water Taxi - plus, ridership stats"

  • wsviking July 20, 2011 (8:21 pm)

    I love love love the water taxi!!! I took my first ride back in May and I’ve been hooked ever since. What a nice relaxing commute!

  • Need bus connections July 20, 2011 (10:34 pm)

    Love the water taxi – and the 5:45 to West Seattle tonight was the busiest I’d ever seen, the 775 packed to capacity.

    The lack of bus connections at Seacrest is a real problem. It’s a great alternative to being stuck in bridge or viaduct traffic, except that the a bus is still faster unless the 773 and 775 shuttles take you where you need to go without a transfer. Would love to see, e.g., the 128 extended to Seacrest park and scheduled with the water taxi arrival.

    Of course, with the Metropocalypse coming (54/55/57/51/22 deleted,) I expect the WT to be more time competitive.

  • Jasperblu July 21, 2011 (1:48 am)

    Took the 6:15 home to WS last night (usually take the 5:15), it was packed going both directions. Of course, it was also a really nice evening weather wise.
    As for ridership #’s… I saw that on their website yesterday. Noticed the Vashon/DT water taxi stats were even more specific, with actual numbers by day of the week, not just by month or percentage. Wonder if they’ll publish, or at least have available, same level of detailed stats for the West Seattle route? Either way, interesting to see that all those ticket taker clicks when we board actually ARE being counted.
    Agree with comments re: reliable/extended bus service to/from Seacrest. The shuttle is really of little use to get water taxi riders where they need to go unless you live directly within blocks of its limited route. Either we need more bus coverage to Seacrest, or there needs to be a park & ride lot. Or both.
    But otherwise, I’m finding the water taxi to be a great way to commute to downtown. Of course, I’m also curious to see how it works out for me in the cold, wind, rough seas, rain &/or snow come Nov – March. Not so great a commute during “normal” Seattle weather perhaps? We shall see.

  • I. Ponder July 21, 2011 (8:16 am)

    Many people still enjoy sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the bridge, while muttering and cursing. There’s no accounting for taste.

  • austin July 21, 2011 (9:22 am)

    I’m not particularly fond of the shuttle service either. But I do love the water taxi! I am actually one of the people who live within blocks of the shuttle’s route and notice two things about it on a regular basis: When trying to board the water taxi shuttle from one of the “lesser” (non-junction) bus stops you really have to get the driver’s attention before they stop or else you will get passed by. Also I find I can get a mile into the mile and a half trek home from seacrest on foot before the water taxi begins its route, and I’d rather get a little exercise than stand around for twenty minutes waiting on a shuttle that is supposed to have a schedule based around the boat. Of course if you contact metro about these issues they send you a polite email suggesting that you’re probably crazy since they never make mistakes. :/

  • Jill July 21, 2011 (1:52 pm)

    Jasperblu, commuting via water taxi in winter is great! Around the holidays they deck the interior with the boughs etc. It’s pretty cozy actually. : )

  • Karin July 21, 2011 (3:59 pm)

    I took the water taxi home from the Sounders game last night and came across a scheduling issue. The water taxi has an extended schedule, but the shuttle doesn’t! I ended up walking home, but it would have been nice to know about this beforehand.

  • JoAnne July 21, 2011 (11:27 pm)

    Yes the water taxi…a fun if not narcissistic toy of the reigning King County Executive. Too bad it does not provide a manageable or reliable mode of transportation.

    Tourists and weekenders do enjoy it though, and they ought to, since the cost is heavily subsidized by county taxpayers, most of whom will never have occasion to use it.

    When you consider the water taxi operating cost ($115,000 to $339,000 per month?) and its “King County Ferry District,” the ridership numbers look a little pathetic.

  • LivesinWS July 22, 2011 (11:55 am)

    The water taxi has had some unreliable days where mechanical issues prevented scheduled runs. I’d be much more likely to take it if I could rely on it. I hate it when you’re 10 min away from the Water Taxi dock and hear it won’t be running that morning. Then you’re late for any other transportation alternative.

  • LivesinWS July 22, 2011 (11:57 am)

    JoAnne — $$$ for car commuters don’t include the subsidy for freeways, bridges etc.

  • JoAnne July 23, 2011 (4:43 pm)

    Yes, but unlike the water taxi, people can reasonably expect to be able use their car to get to work on time. I do wish WS commuters had reliable bus service or safe bike lanes through downtown, or even a water taxi with a park-and-ride. Unfortunately, in spite of all the rhetoric, we have none of those things.

Sorry, comment time is over.