1:43 PM: One of the questions remaining unanswered after the West Seattle Bridge reopening was whether the West Seattle Water Taxi would go back to limited service this fall/winter. In pre-pandemic times, the standard fall/winter plan was to reduce service to am/pm commute weekday service only, but last year the 7-day-a-week, all-day service was maintained through the chillier seasons. We asked recently what the plan was for this year and the answer was that it was still being finalized. Now, the announcement is just in:
On Monday, Oct. 17, the West Seattle Water Taxi will continue providing midday and weekend sailings between downtown Seattle’s Pier 50 and Seacrest Dock in West Seattle.
The seven-day-a-week service will run from approximately 6 a.m. weekdays (8:30 a.m. weekends) to 7 p.m. Weekday sailings leaving the dock every 35 minutes during peak commute hours and every hour during the midday, and on weekends. There will be no Friday or Saturday sailings after 7 p.m. …
During commute hours, riders can take the free Metro shuttles to and from the Water Taxi landing at Seacrest Park. Route 773 serves the West Seattle Junction. Route 775 serves the Admiral District and Alki. …
During the repair of the West Seattle High Bridge, the Water Taxi provided a choice for those not wanting to drive to and from West Seattle. There was enough ridership during the winter season that Metro has chosen to maintain service for riders who want to continue using the Water Taxi instead of returning to their vehicles with the reopening of the High Bridge. This pilot program for this fall and winter, which will also provide more consistent scheduling for Water Taxi crews, will be used to evaluate potential ongoing year-round service.
In preparation for the start of the winter sailing schedule, Water Taxi staff will be conducting vessel maintenance on Oct. 15-16, so West Seattle service will be canceled for that weekend.
Last year, the extra service was maintained with extra funding from the city; we’re checking on whether that’s how they’re covering the cost this year, as the announcement did not say.
3:16 PM: Metro spokesperson Al Sanders says this time it’s all Metro (county) funding.