The West Seattle Water Taxi was originally supposed to change to the 7-day-a-week spring/summer schedule one week from tomorrow. But that’s now delayed at least a month. Here’s what the King County Department of Transportation says:
We will now postpone the start of peak season service and reevaluate a new start date in one month. We’ll maintain our current winter schedule through April 20, 2020, continuing to provide morning and afternoon commute service from downtown to and from West Seattle and Vashon Island.
Our ridership has decreased 23 percent over the last two weeks as more people are practicing social distancing by staying home or telecommuting. Our vessels are not at capacity and riders who do come on board are able to maintain safe distance in accordance with Public Health guidelines. At this point, it is not a good use of taxpayer resources to add additional service.
Running commute and peak service requires more crew, and we must preserve our crew in order to maintain core commute service in the event that our workforce is affected by COVID-19.
At this time, the water taxi team does not intend to reduce service beyond current service levels.
Most immediately, we’re putting safety first by cleaning and disinfecting our vessels several times daily, including sanitization of handrails, tabletops and seats.
Wondering just how much ridership has dropped? Some stats on both the Water Taxi and Metro buses were published Friday. Between March 2nd and March 12th, daily ridership fell by almost two-thirds.