FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Water Taxi more than tripled ridership during tanker-truck-trouble traffic

(Monday afternoon photo by Anand Rajaratnam, before sold-out 4:45 run)

If you took – or tried to take – the Water Taxi home to West Seattle during Monday’s tanker-crash freeway shutdown, you know it was a hot ticket. How hot? We just checked with King County Department of Transportation’s Brent Champaco, who confirms that, as readers told us, the 4:45 and 5:15 runs sold out, and that overall: “The Water Taxi carried 1,200 riders on the evening West Seattle routes. For reference, the typical ridership number for an evening commute in February is 366.” Champaco says that by evening’s end, though, nobody was left behind: “Our crews were able to get everyone who was waiting for a trip to West Seattle onboard by the final scheduled run at 6:45 p.m. Big kudos to our crews.” Might not have worked out that way before January 2016, when the M/V Doc Maynard became West Seattle’s Water Taxi vessel, with capacity of 271, more than double its predecessor, the Spirit of Kingston (which the county has kept as a backup boat).

P.S. If you’re interested in the comparison, here’s our story with the early Water Taxi stats from last year’s tunneling-related Viaduct closure. (Of course, people had advance warning for that.)

13 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Water Taxi more than tripled ridership during tanker-truck-trouble traffic"

  • Rb February 28, 2017 (2:01 pm)

    if the water taxi station was better connected to the erst of the peninsula, more people would take it more often.  

    • sam-c February 28, 2017 (2:06 pm)


    • newnative February 28, 2017 (2:35 pm)

      What do you mean by “better connected to the erst of the peninsula”?  There are shuttles that run to the Junction and Admiral District-which are connected.   

      My main quibble on a regular day is that there is no longer a true waterfront shuttle (the old 99) so it’s easier to walk the whole way to work than to hike up the hill for a bus.  But on Epic Fail Day, the water taxi is the best thing in town. 

    • Earlybird February 28, 2017 (2:36 pm)

      Better connected to the rest of the peninsula AND an earlier departure in the morning. I’d love to use it but it’s just not practical!

  • Gene February 28, 2017 (2:56 pm)

    Not practical for some – great for others- just like taking a bus,  biking or driving- love  & appreciate having options & when the viaduct is gone — even more so. 

  • ImmaMom February 28, 2017 (3:02 pm)

    Water taxi saves the day again!  

  • Boats February 28, 2017 (4:58 pm)

    The 745 gets me dwntwn to work way too early and the 815 gets me there late. Really wish there was an 8a departure!

  • WD fundie February 28, 2017 (6:06 pm)

    So it lost a little less money than normal?  

  • Raincity February 28, 2017 (9:01 pm)

    It’s great but the final connection can’t manage a surge like yesterday. The shuttle was packed with 42 people. Wish there was a way to have greater capacity when needed.

  • Joni C February 28, 2017 (9:56 pm)

    Very thankful for the WS Water Taxi!  Very useful mode of transportation.  

  • Chris W. February 28, 2017 (10:59 pm)

    The water taxi carries 271. Each shuttle carries about 15 people, fewer if a wheelchair is being transported. 

    • newnative March 1, 2017 (9:18 am)

      The shuttles carry a lot more than 15.  Btw, when I arrived to Seacrest Pier, I avoided the rush to the shuttle and had some tacos at Marination and got on the next shuttle-which only had two of us.  

  • Paul March 1, 2017 (8:25 am)

    If we had light rail to the Junction, a lot of us wouldn’t have been affected much by the traffic mess downtown.

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