Washington State Ferries says pandemic pushed ridership to lowest point in nearly a half-century

(WSB file photo, Fauntleroy WSF terminal)

As with other transit/transportation, Washington State Ferries has seen usage fall during the pandemic. Today WSF went public with its year-end report, showing just how much. Systemwide, 2020 ridership was down 41 percent from a year earlier. That includes 2020 becoming the first year ever – since WSF began operations in 1951 – that the system carried fewer passengers (6.4 million) than vehicles (7.6 million). The two routes serving downtown Seattle, from Bremerton and Bainbridge Island, saw the biggest drops. For Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth, WSF reports that total riders were down 39%, vehicles down 31% (of the three legs of the so-called Triangle Route, Fauntleroy-Southworth saw the biggest drops). The other route serving Vashon Island – Tahlequah-Point Defiance – was the route with the smallest drop. See the full 2020 report here. P.S. WSF says ridership has been rebounding, lately back to 60 percent of pre-pandemic levels, with vehicle usage at 70 percent of 2019 usage levels.

2 Replies to "Washington State Ferries says pandemic pushed ridership to lowest point in nearly a half-century"

  • WSEA January 12, 2021 (2:39 pm)

    Does WSF think they will reduce the number of runs for 2021?  I’ve been interested in how transportation (ferry or bus)  is going to reduce costs due to less passengers while also trying to recoup 2020 reduced revenue. 

  • Lola January 12, 2021 (4:28 pm)

    It is because more people are working from home.

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