WEST SEATTLE WATER TAXI: Still lots of room

This is the second weekend the West Seattle Water Taxi has been on its spring/summer schedule, which adds not only Saturday and Sunday runs, but also weekday midday service. Last year, because of the pandemic, the WT never moved to the spring/summer schedule, and for months ran on a scaled-back timetable. A reader contemplating giving it a try recently asked us if it’s crowded. We noticed the Water Taxi website didn’t have updated ridership stats, so we asked King County Metro – which manages the WT – for an update. Spokesperson Al Sanders provided these numbers

2021 – first week of summer [service] = Monday-Sunday

4/19 – 386
4/20 – 484
4/21 – 477
4/22 – 357
4/23 – 603
4/24 – 364
4/25 – 384

2020 – for comparison – Monday-Friday

4/20 – 62
4/21 – 34
4/22 – 40
4/23 – 32
4/24 – 18
4/25 and 4/26 – no service

The vessels are still running at limited capacity for distancing; Sanders says that’s 153 passengers for the West Seattle run’s regular boat M/V Doc Maynard and its twin on the Vashon run, M/V Sally Fox; 57 for the backup boat M/V Spirit of Kingston. Even with that, he says, “Highs for a sailing haven’t been above 40 on any given departure, with most being 10-20.” Though the numbers are a big increase from last year, there’s a long way to go to meet the mode-shift targets the city laid out in the Reconnect West Seattle plan – 950 added trips per day – and also, to get close to pre-pandemic ridership (see the “data” tab here).

2 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE WATER TAXI: Still lots of room"

  • anonyme May 2, 2021 (11:34 am)

    I still don’t see the justification for running full schedule water taxis along with full schedule shuttles, while parts of West Seattle – Arbor Heights, specifically – go without transportation of any kind.  And that includes shuttles to the water taxi.  Route 22 was essentially a shuttle, one that people relied on for everyday necessities – not seasonal excursions.  Why one and not the other?  Why is it that the south end is yet again being treated as if we don’t exist and don’t matter?  Where is our representation?

  • Trileigh May 2, 2021 (2:40 pm)

    I took the Water Taxi yesterday at midday and it wasn’t crowded at all. Plenty of room for distancing (and of course there’s always outside). Such a pleasure to be able to travel downtown this way.

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