PHOTOS: Inside the new Water Taxi downtown terminal. And – what about the West Seattle side?

(WSB photos)

That’s what King County Water Taxi passengers saw this morning as they disembarked at Pier 50 downtown – the new passenger-ferry facility. Not just the Water Taxi:

Since Kitsap Fast Ferries are sharing the space, Kitsap Transit’s board chair, Bainbridge Island Mayor Kol Medina, shared the podium with King County Executive Dow Constantine at a media briefing this morning.

Constantine, a longtime Water Taxi champion, said he was “amazed” by how well the project turned out, “way better” than he had imagined. Here are some of the highlights:

We asked King County Marine Division director Paul Brodeur for his favorite features. Above, the Douglas-fir ceiling – “sustainably harvested,” he noted – as well as the many accessibility improvements, including a tactile path from Alaskan Way to the facility entrance:

Here’s the spot where a person following that path will turn to go into the facility:

Brodeur also expressed appreciation for the “1 Percent for Art” feature inside. It’s subtle, and we wouldn’t have noticed if he hadn’t pointed it out:

The posts – meant to emulate pilings with tide lines – are by artist Leo Berk; his many other public-art sites include Highland Park Spraypark. Also part of the new facility, digital signage and 9 ticket machines:

One feature that’s not ready to go yet – new connections to the main terminal – the connections should be complete within a month or so. (Important because, as one question toward the briefing’s end revealed, there’s no restroom in the new facility.) Wondering about the cost? From the news release:

The total cost of the project is $45 million, which includes the new building and the new float for boats to dock. Approximately 80 percent of the funding came from a grant from the Federal Transit Administration.

If you travel through the new facility today, you might still have a chance at opening-day swag, including little foam boats and decorated cookies:

So now that the downtown dock is upgraded, what about West Seattle, which is still using the Seacrest fishing pier after 20+ years? Constantine had nothing concrete to announce but replied that the new Pier 50 will “show the way” and that it’s proof that the region’s commitment to passenger ferries – not always a sure bet – “is past the point of no return.”

We’ll add briefing video later.

8 Replies to "PHOTOS: Inside the new Water Taxi downtown terminal. And - what about the West Seattle side?"

  • Craig August 12, 2019 (2:40 pm)

    Beautiful! Nice job everyone! The waterfront is starting to take shape and be the front door for Seattle that it always should have been. I’m hoping  that on our side, in WS, we use the Jack Block park area for a future taxi site and give back Seacrest parking to recreation and visitors. 

    • Gene August 12, 2019 (3:30 pm)

      I second that idea !!!

    • HappyOnAlki August 12, 2019 (4:05 pm)

      With a shuttle to Marination, tho!

    • mrsB August 13, 2019 (2:09 pm)

      Jack Block Park is a beautiful public park.  Are you suggesting that the parking area for the park be used by Water Taxi patrons?  Where are those of us who enjoy this beautiful Port of Seattle park meant to park?  (Sorry for excessive use of the word “park”!)

  • Peter August 12, 2019 (4:55 pm)

    Nice. Much better than standing in the sun and rain. Can’t wait to try it. 

  • Mj August 12, 2019 (5:48 pm)

    Standing is hard on the back.  Some seating would be nice.

  • Jim August 14, 2019 (2:22 pm)

    Nice! And only 45 million dollars. Perhaps we could have a bond issue, say 12 million to put in two benches for us old folks and a unisex toilet.

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