King County Water Taxi 322 results

LOW-BRIDGE CLOSURE: Here’s how app-based free Water Taxi/bus rides will work

As promised, SDOT has gone public before week’s end with details of how you can ride the West Seattle Water Taxi and/or Metro buses fare-free for the duration of the low-bridge closure. As SDOT reps told West Seattle Bike Connections on Tuesday, the plan uses the Transit GO app, so if you’re interested, you have to download that if you don’t have it already. Here’s what happens from there, as explained by SDOT:

-Click on “Rewards” and enter code LOWBRIDGE23 to get 1,500 points for your next ride. Please note: there may be a slight delay in these points appearing.

-Tap “Redeem” and then select the free ride of your choice (King County Metro bus or West Seattle Water Taxi).

-Go to “View Ticket” and then confirm your order (required).

-Then, activate your ticket and show it to your transit operator.

-Once your ticket has been used, you’ll automatically be rewarded with another 1,500 points for your next ride. You’ll continue to earn free tickets while this rewards program is in effect.

As for how long that’ll be – how long the low-bridge closure will last – no new info on that. Meantime (as also noted on Tuesday), the funding for the bus/Water Taxi rides is coming from the voter-approved Seattle Transit Measure, a .15% sales tax (15 cents on a $100 purchase).

NEW YEAR’S EVE: Fare-free transit this Saturday, West Seattle Water Taxi included

Saturday, for New Year’s Eve, many transit services around the region will be fare-free, including the West Seattle Water Taxi. The annual announcement just arrived – here are the Seattle/King County highlights:

*King County Metro: Buses will operate on their regular Saturday schedule and be fare-free from 3 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, through 3 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. Other Metro services operating fare-free include DART, Via to Transit, Ride Pingo to Transit, Community Van, and Access service. Please note Via to Transit will only operate until 2 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 1.

*King County Water Taxi: The water taxi will operate fare-free on Dec. 31 but will be out of service on Jan. 1. and Jan. 2.

*Sound Transit: Link light rail and Sound Transit Express buses are fare-free from 4 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, to 2 a.m. Sunday., Jan. 1. Sound Transit will operate extended Link light rail service on New Year’s Eve, with 15-minute, late-night service. The last southbound trip will leave Northgate Station at 1:58 a.m. The last northbound train will leave Angle Lake Station at 1:41 a.m. For more information go to the Sound Transit website.

*Seattle Streetcar: Both streetcar lines will operate Saturday service hours. The South Lake Union Streetcar will operate on New Year’s Eve until 12:30 a.m. to accommodate fireworks viewing downtown.

Note that the Water Taxi will run its regular Saturday schedule – no late-night sailings in fall/winter. And note that exceptions to the fare-free plan include the Seattle Monorail, which the announcement says “will collect regular fares and is scheduled to operate from Westlake to the Seattle Center until 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. After the evening’s events at Seattle Center, service to Westlake will run from 12:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.”

We’re adding this info to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, where we’re also building a list of local NYE/NYD events – not too late to add one – westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

WATER TAXI: Back to regular service Friday

December 15, 2022 8:17 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

Metro says the Water Taxi will return to normal service on both routes tomorrow. Just received:

Both the West Seattle and Vashon Island routes of the King County Water Taxi will resume their normal full sailing schedules tomorrow, Friday, December 16.

Last night, damage to one of the ships’ propellers left the division to operate both routes with one vessel today, which led to reduced service on both routes. Thanks to today’s crew, which spent the full day taking the Doc Maynard to Port Angeles shipyard and back, and thanks to the shipyard, which was able to get the vessel into dry dock on short notice and change propellers, each route will have a vessel to operate full service.

WATER TAXI ALERT: Service reductions Thursday, with only one boat available for both routes

Metro‘s not only down buses – now it’s down another boat – Water Taxi service has lost a boat to propeller damage, again. The M/V Doc Maynard, recently repaired after damage last month, is out of service again, which led to one round-trip cancellation on each WT route this evening, and will bring more cuts tomorrow, as just announced:

The following trips from Downtown Seattle to West Seattle are canceled: in the morning – the 6:30 a.m., 7:05 a.m. – and in the evening, the 5:25 p.m. and 6:05 p.m.

The following trips from West Seattle to Downtown Seattle are canceled: in the morning 6:50 a.m. and 7:25 a.m., and in the evening 5:45 p.m. and 6:25 p.m.

Other scheduled trips will operate using one vessel serving both the West Seattle and Vashon routes. Visit our online schedules for the full West Seattle route sailing schedule. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

Metro spokesperson Elaine Porterfield tells us M/V Sally Fox is still in a shipyard – after the first round of propeller damage to it and Doc Maynard – and unavailable, so that’s why they are handling both routes with one boat,

FOLLOWUP: Water Taxi returns to full schedule

November 29, 2022 3:27 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

In case you missed our mention earlier – Metro says both Water Taxi routes, West Seattle and Vashon, are returning to full service this afternoon. Two of the three boats had to be taken out of service Monday for repairs to propeller damage, but Metro says the work is complete on M/V Doc Maynard so it’s back in service, and along with M/V Spirit of Kingston, that means full service on both runs. The regular Vashon boat, M/V Sally Fox, is still awaiting repairs. We asked specifics regarding the “submerged debris” on which the propeller damage was blamed; Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer replied, “Per our water taxi team, we typically encounter debris between Duwamish Head and Alki Point. During high tides in the winter, logs get washed into our path. Large debris can be found everywhere we operate, washing off the shores of Vashon, Downtown Seattle and from the rivers.”

WEST SEATTLE WATER TAXI ALERT: 2 more runs canceled today

Two more West Seattle Water Taxi runs have been canceled today in addition to what was already announced as a result of Metro being down to one boat for both routes. From the most-recent alert: “The 11:30 a.m. departure from Pier 50 in Downtown Seattle and the noon departure from West Seattle have been canceled today to support fueling operations. Service resumes with the 12:30 p.m. departure from Pier 50 and the 1:00 p.m. departure from West Seattle.” The Water Taxi is running with the smaller backup boat Spirit of Kingston handling both West Seattle and Vashon Island while the larger regular boats, Doc Maynard and Sally Fox, are out for propeller repairs blamed on “submerged debris.”

WATER TAXI ALERT: West Seattle, Vashon service ‘temporarily reduced’ starting Monday

11:04 AM: Back on Tuesday, Metro announced M/V Doc Maynard had gone out of service on the West Seattle Water Taxi route because of propeller damage. Now it’s happened to at least one other boat and that means “temporarily reduced” WT service for both West Seattle and Vashon. Here’s the update we received a short time ago:

Service on the King County Water Taxi West Seattle and Vashon routes will be temporarily reduced beginning Monday, Nov. 28, due to mechanical damage to our boats’ propellers caused by submerged debris in the water. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience. The repairs may take several days.

As soon as a shipyard has the availability to perform repairs, we will return to regular service. We will share schedule updates as the boats are repaired.

West Seattle service will be reduced by two runs in the morning and evening. Midday service will continue to operate to and from West Seattle. One run will operate in the morning and evening to and from Vashon.

We have a followup question out to ask which other boats are going into repairs and which will be left to run the reduced schedule.

12:45 PM: Metro says the damaged boats are the two main vessels – Doc Maynard and Sally Fox. The Spirit of Kingston is handling WT service right now and will continue while the other two get repaired.

6:19 PM: We’ve removed the previously displayed table sent by Metro; instead, here are their online updates listing what’s canceled:
West Seattle
Vashon Island

WATER TAXI ALERT: West Seattle route cancellations for tonight

Just in from Metro, two problems affecting the West Seattle Water Taxi route.

First – M/V Doc Maynard is out of service until further notice because of propeller damage. Metro says M/V Spirit of Kingston will fill in as needed.

Second – a shortage of crew is canceling some runs tonight:

Lack of crew will force the reduction of service for tonight’s evening commute
These runs have been canceled for tonight
*The 5:35 p.m. and 6:05 p.m. sailings from downtown to West Seattle
*The 5:45 p.m. and 6:25 p.m. sailings from West Seattle to downtown

(The Vashon route has some cancellations too.)

King County changes its mind – West Seattle Water Taxi will run this weekend after all

We asked King County Metro this morning if they might change their mind about this weekend’s planned Water Taxi service outage, given the additional big sporting event(s). First reply was that nothing had changed, but now this is just in:

We want to support fans heading to this weekend’s baseball, football and hockey games, so the West Seattle Water Taxi will operate its normal 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday schedules on Oct. 15-16!

The picturesque and congestion-free trip between West Seattle and downtown Seattle takes as little as 10 minutes.

Free route 773 and 775 water taxi shuttles in West Seattle will also operate, carrying riders to and from Seacrest Dock connecting with all Water Taxi arrivals and departures until 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Evening Metro bus service between downtown Seattle and West Seattle is available on RapidRide C Line, and routes 120 and 125.

Schedules and fare information are online at the Water Taxi webpage. Fares for youth age 18 and under are free.

With the Seattle Mariners playoff schedule in hand, Metro’s Marine Division worked the past several days to identify available captains and crew to provide the service this weekend. Previously planned maintenance and a temporary suspension of service will be rescheduled at a later date.

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Water Taxi to keep all-day, every-day service again this fall/winter

(WSB file photo)

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.

WATER TAXI ALERT: West Seattle/downtown delays due to sudden vessel swap

A tipster told us about some kind of problem with the West Seattle Water Taxi vessel in the past half-hour. We’ve been trying to reach Metro to verify that, and in the meantime they’ve just sent word that they’re making a sudden vessel swap, to the backup Spirit of Kingston, delaying the 5:25 pm departure from Downtown and 5:45 pm departure from West Seattle.

WATER TAXI ALERT: Two round trips between West Seattle and downtown canceled this evening

Just in from Metro:

The King County Water Taxi‘s West Seattle route will be reduced this evening, Friday, August 19, 2022, due to a shortage of available workforce.

The following trips from Downtown Seattle to West Seattle are canceled: 5:25 p.m. and 6:05 p.m.

The following trips from West Seattle to Downtown Seattle are canceled: 5:45 p.m. and 6:25 p.m.

Please note: There is a two-hour gap in scheduled sailings to West Seattle between the 4:45 p.m. trip and the 6:45 p.m. trip and riders are encouraged to consider alternate travel plans.

Other scheduled trips are expected to operate using available crew members.

The Vashon Water Taxi run is missing trips this pm, too.

WATER TAXI ALERT: Two West Seattle evening roundtrips canceled for Monday

Just announced by Metro:

The King County Water Taxis West Seattle route will be reduced tomorrow evening, Monday, July 11, due to a shortage of available workforce.

The following trips from Downtown Seattle to West Seattle are canceled: 5:25 p.m. and 6:05 p.m.

The following trips from West Seattle to Downtown Seattle are canceled: 5:45 p.m. and 6:25 p.m.

Please note: There is a two-hour gap in scheduled sailings to West Seattle between the 4:45 p.m. trip and the 6:45 p.m. trip and riders are encouraged to consider alternate travel plans.

Other scheduled trips are expected to operate using available crew members.

Some Water Taxi runs were also canceled last Friday because of a crew shortage.

WATER TAXI ALERT: West Seattle, Vashon cancellations later today

Just in from Metro:

King County Water Taxi service will be reduced this afternoon, Wednesday, June 22, on the West Seattle and Vashon routes due to a shortage of available workforce.

The following trips are affected:

Downtown to West Seattle: departures at 5:25 p.m. and 6:05 p.m. are canceled.
West Seattle to downtown: departures at 5:45 p.m. and 6:25 p.m. are canceled.
Downtown to Vashon: the departure at 6:30 p.m. is canceled.
Vashon to Downtown: the departure at 6:58 p.m. is canceled.

Please note: The 5:30 p.m. is the last trip of the day operating from downtown to Vashon. There is also a two-hour gap in scheduled sailings to West Seattle between the 4:45 p.m. trip and the 6:45 p.m. trip and riders are encouraged to consider alternate travel plans.

Other scheduled trips are expected to operate using available crew members.

We’ll update if anything changes.

WATER TAXI ALERT: West Seattle runs canceled because of vessel trouble

May 18, 2022 6:20 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

6:20 PM: Just in from Metro:

One engine on the Spirit of Kingston is having difficulty and due to high winds, the remaining trips between downtown Seattle and West Seattle have been canceled. During this time, Water Taxi shuttle routes 773 and 775 will continue to operate as usual in West Seattle.

Transportation options are listed in the full alert.

11 PM UPDATE: Normal service will resume tomorrow morning, Metro says – while also confirming that the midday service suspension for dock work at Seacrest will happen again on Thursday as planned.

WATER TAXI ALERT: No midday service for up to 4 days next week

11:14 AM: Just announced by Metro:

Scheduled repairs to the Seacrest Dock in West Seattle will close the dock during the midday sailing hours between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm from Monday, May 16 through Thursday, May 19. Should work complete early, notification regarding service resumption will follow.

We’re following up to see what the repairs entail.

ADDED 2:14 PM: Water Taxi spokesperson Al Sanders tells us it’s actually maintenance: “The time is needed to complete the final phase of dock maintenance at Seacrest Park which had been scheduled for mid-April but was delayed due to supply chain issues. The contractor is planning on three days of work with one day as a buffer, so it is possible to resume service earlier based on their success in executing the work.”

WATER TAXI CHANGES: Reduced service Monday-Wednesday; summer schedule starts Thursday

Two reminders for West Seattle Water Taxi riders: No service between the morning and evening commute hours (9:10 am to 3:25 pm) tomorrow through Wednesday (April 18-19-20) because of crew training/drills. Then on Thursday, the summer schedule begins. Since the Water Taxi already has been running year-round, the main change is the return of later evening service on Fridays and Saturdays, until mid-October.

WATER TAXI: Shuttle service restored to all runs starting Monday

(WSB file photo)

Back when we first reported that the West Seattle Water Taxi‘s summer season would launch April 21st, Metro hadn’t yet finalized the summer shuttle schedule. Now it has, and shuttle service is being restored to all runs as of tomorrow (Monday, March 28th). Metro’s announcement says that “all Water Taxi sailings will be met with shuttle service.” The online schedules for shuttle Routes 773 and 775 don’t yet reflect this, however; we’ll be asking about that tomorrow. Though the Water Taxi has stayed on a seven-days-a-week schedule throughout this bridgeless winter, the shuttle buses did not.

WATER TAXI ALERT: West Seattle route delay

March 21, 2022 3:55 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

3:55 PM: From Metro: “The West Seattle Water Taxi is delayed this evening while crews swap vessels due to a mechanical issue aboard the MV Sally Fox. We hope to resume normal service shortly. Apologies for the inconvenience.”

4:28 PM: Metro’s Al Sanders says the crews are still working this out and he has no update yet on which vessel is taking over which route.

5:18 PM: The Spirit of Kingston is taking over the West Seattle run for the rest of the day and will resume service at 5:25 from Pier 50 downtown.

You asked, so we asked: What’s ahead for West Seattle’s Water Taxi

(WSB Tuesday photo, Water Taxi dock at Seacrest)

Karen emailed to ask if Metro had announced plans for spring/summer-season changes on the West Seattle Water Taxi schedule, so we inquired. You might recall that the pre-pandemic routine was for the WT to go weekdays-only through late fall, winter, and early spring, but this year, after public clamor because of the West Seattle Bridge closure, the service has continued in 7-days-a-week mode, though the shuttle buses are on reduced schedules. Metro spokesperson Al Sanders tells WSB, “The West Seattle Water Taxi will begin its summer schedule on April 21. The only change from the current winter schedule will be the addition of late-night departures on Fridays and Saturdays.” Will the shuttle schedule ramp back up? Sanders says that’s not decided yet, “Summer shuttle schedule is also TBD. Marine (Division) is waiting to hear back from Service Planning on if their contracted service provider will be able to expand the current schedule.”

CONGRATULATIONS! National recognition for West Seattle Water Taxi crew members’ sailboat rescue

Last August, we reported on the crew of the West Seattle Water Taxi spotting and rescuing two people from an overturned sailboat.

(August 2021 through-a-telescope photo sent by Rodney)

Later that month, three M/V Doc Maynard crew members involved in the rescue were honored by King County leaders. And now, they’ve received national recognition. The county has announced that Capt. Brad Johnson and deckhands GW Rogers and Jay White received the Passenger Vessel Association’s Capt. Elizabeth Gedney Passenger Vessel Safety Award. The PVA explains the award’s purpose in part:

Every year, PVA members are involved in real-life man-overboard and other life-saving situations. It is these types of events that need to be recognized because we understand the safety training that PVA vessel operators have can make the difference between life and death, and they do it efficiently and effectively.

The announcement says Captain Johnson and Marine Division Director Paul Brodeur accepted the award during the Passenger Vessel Association’s annual meeting in Kentucky.

UPDATE: West Seattle Water Taxi service interrupted by state-ferry threat investigation

12:26 PM: Just in from King County Water Taxi: “The West Seattle Water Taxi’s 12:30 pm departure from Downtown Seattle has been canceled. At this time, we do not know when service will resume. Apologies for the delay.” The alert doesn’t explain the cancellation/interruption – but Colman Dock is currently closed for investigation of a threat reportedly involving the Bainbridge state ferry. Updates to come.

12:32 PM: The threat investigation also has Bainbridge/Bremerton state-ferry service on hold.

(Added: Webcam image from WSF Bainbridge terminal area)

What’s described as an “active bomb threat” was apparently centered on the Bainbridge terminal; on the Seattle side, officers with K9s are checking a vessel from that route, M/V Tacoma, so that’s why Colman Dock is currently closed.

12:48 PM: Colman Dock has just reopened. Tracker shows the Water Taxi vessel Doc Maynard is still at Seacrest, so whenever it gets the all-clear, it’ll still have to cross the bay to get to the passengers waiting there.

1:11 PM: The Water Taxi has resumed service. (added) WSF has been cleared to resume regular service in Seattle and Bainbridge, too.

WATER TAXI ALERT: Mechanical trouble

January 24, 2022 1:04 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

The King County Water Taxi‘s 1:00 pm run to downtown from Seacrest Park is running up to 20 minutes late, according to Metro: “Vessel Captain and crew had to switch vessels due to unexpected issue with a generator.” We’ll update if that leads to any additional problems later in the day.