New dates announced for King County Water Taxi’s dock-move service suspension

(King County aerial photo – temporary Water Taxi dock at left, almost-complete new one at right)

The service suspension originally planned for last week has been rescheduled for next week. Here’s the announcement:

King County Water Taxi will suspend service Aug. 5-11 as construction crews complete work that will allow vessels to operate out of the new downtown Seattle passenger dock at Pier 50.

King County Water Taxi and Kitsap Fast Ferry customers have boarded vessels at a temporary location at Pier 52 since August 2017 to allow for construction. The new facility will be located on the south side of Colman Dock at Pier 50 and is part of a larger project to renovate Colman Dock.

While service is suspended, construction crews will move the gangway from its current temporary location at Pier 52 to the new terminal and finalize connections and testing necessary for operations at the new terminal. Service is scheduled to resume on Monday, Aug. 12.

The new passenger ferry terminal represents a major investment in passenger ferry service and the region’s long-term mobility, connecting downtown Seattle with West Seattle, Vashon and the Kitsap Peninsula. The new covered facility will have room for approximately 500 passengers. Later this summer, the facility also will feature an observation platform overlooking the bay at the west end as construction progresses.

9 Replies to "New dates announced for King County Water Taxi's dock-move service suspension"

  • Mj July 29, 2019 (10:04 am)

    Thank you staying on top of this.

  • Matt July 29, 2019 (10:54 pm)

    Why does this take a week?

    • Travis, King County Metro July 30, 2019 (7:39 am)

      Hi Matt,In order to open the new facility, the temporary facility at Pier 52 has to shut down. Then, crews will move the gangway from Pier 52 to the new facility at Pier 50. Moving the gangway, and hooking up the necessary utilities, takes about 3 days. During that time, construction crews will continue to work on final projects to get the facility ready to open, including necessary safety and security measures. In addition to those projects, there is some technology installations, ORCA readers and ticket machines, and other equipment that has to be moved from Pier 52 to Pier 50. It’s expected to take about a week, with service resuming on Monday, August 12. We recognize it’s inconvenient and thank passengers for their patience while we prepare to open this new and improved facility.    

  • Nw mama July 30, 2019 (9:57 am)

    My question exactly!  Why does this take a week!? And why can’t it wait until fall or a time when peak ridership is down?  It’s been a nightmare to commute home from downtown to w sea lately.  The water taxi used to be great.  But with the smaller boat, the increased ridership (I assume) from the crappy bus service out of downtown and it just being summer (tourists) it’s not a guarantee that I can get on my boat.   And I definitely cannot always get in the shuttle!  

    • Travis, King County Metro July 30, 2019 (11:44 am)

      Thanks for asking that question. Metro wants the Water Taxi experience to be a fun, convenient, congestion-free way to get to and from West Seattle. We recognize when that experience is diminished, passengers are the ones who are impacted most. Unfortunately, King County Metro is not the only active construction site around Colman Dock. The Washington State Ferries terminal is also under construction and in order for that work to proceed, the Water Taxi temporary facility must be vacated. The move from the temporary facility at Pier 52 to the new facility at Pier 50 is no small feat. It includes moving the gangway and hooking up the necessary utilities, working on final projects needed to get the facility open, installing safety and security measures, and moving in the technology needed from the temporary facility, including but not limited to ORCA readers and ticket machines. We are aware of the disruption to our passengers and are working to ensure the work proceeds smoothly and the new facility can open on Monday, August 12. We look forward to operating the new facility for decades to come and we apologize for the temporary inconvenience.

  • K July 30, 2019 (12:09 pm)

    I ride the Water Taxi everyday for work so there is no really good time to shut it down for a week for me.  I just find the timing of the closing poor planning, with summer events and tourists revenue at a high point in the summer why not wait.  Whenever the closing I have an alternate in place but the lost revenue could be lessened at  another time. 

  • SY July 30, 2019 (2:33 pm)

    @Travis at KCM.  Honestly, this seems like a pathetic explanation.  “working on final projects needed to get the facility open” ought to be able to proceed without cancelling service.  Why does service to Pier 52 need to halt when safety and security measures are being worked on at Pier 50?  Moving ORCA readers and TVMs could happen at night and/or over a weekend, and temporary measures could be put in place (mobile ORCA readers, for example).  If moving the gangway is the most difficult / time consuming thing, do it starting Friday night and have it complete by the following Monday AM.

  • Jon Wright July 30, 2019 (2:59 pm)

    Internet comment sections: where everyone thinks they’re a subject matter expert.

  • Alki resident July 30, 2019 (8:36 pm)

    Thank you Travis and team.  The water taxi crew always seems so patient and efficient.  Best of lunch with the move.  I’m looking forward to seeing the new dock in a few weeks!

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