WATER TAXI: Midday, weekend West Seattle service expected to continue through winter again this year

(Water Taxi during August sunrise – photo by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)

With Metro making its fall “service change” adjustments to bus routes this weekend, you might be wondering about the West Seattle Water Taxi. Its summer schedule, with late-night runs on Fridays and Saturdays, is planned to last six more weeks, until October 14. Before the pandemic and West Seattle Bridge closure brought big changes, the Water Taxi downshifted in fall/winter to running five days a week, commute times only. But the past two years, Metro has kept the foot ferry running all day, seven days a week, year-round. We asked Metro repeatedly whether that would continue this year; the answer was that they didn’t know yet. So with fall approaching and no announcement yet, we asked County Councilmember Joe McDermott if the council had perhaps been briefed on a plan. In fact, he told us, Metro notified the County Council in mid-June that it would continue all-day, every-day service again this year. The memo sent to councilmembers noted that not only does that make for a service on which customers can rely, but a survey of Marine Division staff showed it’s popular with them too “as they will no longer be laid off during the winter months (allowing) Metro to be more competitive for workforce in the challenging marine industry.” The memo also noted that ridership last winter, after the West Seattle Bridge reopened, was even higher than the previous winter, when it was still closed. And the memo included one more point – that “the extended service bridges an important gap in our current bus service, due to bus operator workforce shortages.”

3 Replies to "WATER TAXI: Midday, weekend West Seattle service expected to continue through winter again this year"

  • Snickels September 4, 2023 (9:03 am)

    This is excellent news.  It should be a year round opportunity to use the water taxi.  People have decided that it is a great way to get into the city and have found it easy to make the connection to ferries and light rail and buses.  Bikers too.  Let’s not only keep it open but promote it.

  • Tracy September 5, 2023 (11:42 am)

    Yay!  My first choice for transport downtown.  This is great news.

  • max34 September 6, 2023 (1:49 pm)

    great new.  its a vital connection and does ease the burden on the bus routes during the peak periods, especially in the evening.  

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