The first of two new King County Water Taxis was christened on Vashon Island today. Above, breaking mesh-covered champagne bottles onto the M/V Sally Fox, that’s County Executive Dow Constantine, Ms. Fox’s daughter Kelly Fox Violet, and County Councilmember Joe McDermott. Big turnout at the passenger-ferry dock on north Vashon:
Here’s a better look at the boat, whose twin, M/V Doc Maynard, is coming to West Seattle this fall.
Executive Constantine talked about the growth in Water Taxi ridership – 445,000 trips last year, taking cars off the roads:
He also mentioned seeing people at the ceremony whose involvement with the county’s foot-ferry efforts goes way back. We noticed one of them – his predecessor, former County Executive Ron Sims:
During Sims’s tenure, the county took over Vashon foot-ferry service, which was formerly run by the state. Meantime, 80 percent of the $11 million cost of the two new boats – both built at All American Marine in Bellingham – was covered by federal grant money. Another financial point, brought up by County Councilmember Joe McDermott – savings realized by merging the King County Ferry District into the county Department of Transportation:
He talked about the Vashon boat’s namesake, Sally Fox, who died in 2007; her widower, retired Judge Michael Fox, also spoke at the event. Here’s the plaque that will honor her onboard:
One more look at the boat!
With room for 250 passengers and 26 bicycles, the Sally Fox officially goes into service next month. Go here to read the official county news release about the boat and today’s event.
P.S. It’s not affected by this, but in case you wondered – the West Seattle Water Taxi’s seven-days-a-week spring/summer schedule starts on April 6th, one week from Monday.