FOLLOWUP: King County Water Taxi’s added runs for SPF30 helped set single-day record

(From our first as-it-happened SPF30 report on 8/11/18, Carolyn Newman’s photo of the Water Taxi shuttle line at Seacrest)

Another SPF30 followup – the office of King County Executive Dow Constantine has sent this announcement that adding extra runs that day/night led to a ridership record:

King County Water Taxi set a single-day ridership record during Sub Pop Records’ 30th anniversary celebration on Alki Beach, working with event organizers to provide additional service for the biggest one-day event in West Seattle’s history.

It is the latest milestone for King County’s water taxi service, which set a monthly ridership record on its West Seattle route in July.

“Thousands of people enjoyed a scenic trip to Alki Beach for a major celebration without having to fight traffic or search for parking,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Our successful collaboration with Sub Pop Records reflects our commitment to being nimble and responsive so we can deliver outstanding customer service.”

The water taxi staff worked with event organizers to add a second vessel to the West Seattle route for the peak hours of the festival. Sub Pop encouraged attendees to take King County’s water taxi and free shuttle to Alki Beach, reducing traffic congestion in the surrounding neighborhoods.

“It would have been impossible to bring that many people to our festival without the help of the King County Water Taxi,” said Sub Pop CEO Megan Jasper. “They understood our needs and created a flexible and efficient plan for our region’s music fans. Many of these folks rode the Water Taxi for the first time, and we’ve heard from many of them how enjoyable their commute was.”

“Music is one of those treasured experiences that brings people together,” Jasper added. “The Water Taxi is a local treasure. We are so grateful for the partnership and the experience they provided.”

More than 7,600 passengers sailed on King County’s water taxis on Aug. 11. Between 9 and 11:30 p.m., the MV Doc Maynard and the MV Sally Fox – which can carry 278 passengers each – carried more than 2,000 passengers from West Seattle to Pier 52.

The previous single-day ridership record was set in 2014 when 4,592 passengers sailed to and from the the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory parade.

What the announcement doesn’t mention is how much Sub Pop paid to have a vessel added; we have asked that followup question. The record label added other forms of transportation to handle the crowd, too, including tour-bus-type shuttles from various West Seattle stops.

4 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: King County Water Taxi's added runs for SPF30 helped set single-day record"

  • Trickycoolj August 20, 2018 (11:24 am)

    Imagine how much more ridership could increase if they made it more accessible to other parts of West Seattle like High Point where lots of young professionals live. 35th and Morgan is always packed with bus riders anytime I have to commute north. 

  • Don Brubeck August 20, 2018 (12:34 pm)

    Sub Pop did a great job in preparing for this festival.  About a thousand more people rode bikes over the Spokane Street Bridge on August 11 than on the Saturday before and the Saturday after.  Bikes were a great way to  bring people in to SPF 30 without adding to traffic congestion, at no added cost.

    • Aaron August 20, 2018 (6:28 pm)

      It was a bit of a drag after the show to find that most of the electric Limebikes were out of juice and offline after being ridden all the way to the beach…

  • King County DOT August 20, 2018 (2:14 pm)

    Sub-Pop did not pay King County DOT any money for the additional service. Planners anticipated the higher demand and the record ridership shows it was a win-win for everyone.

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