King County Water Taxi 342 results

KING COUNTY WATER TAXI: Expanded Vashon service starts Monday

(WSB photo, primary Vashon Water Taxi vessel M/V Sally Fox after its 2015 delivery)
The King County Water Taxi‘s Vashon-to-Seattle route has long run only during weekday morning and afternoon/evening commute times. With state ferries’ reduced service, Vashon has long requested expanded Water Taxi service – and Monday, it finally happens. With $3 million added funding from the state, the Water Taxi is adding four weekday Vashon-Seattle round trips – leaving Vashon at 9:25 am, noon, 1:30 pm, and 3:45 pm. Previously, the Vashon-Seattle route had six daily round trips, so now it has 10; still no weekend service. You can see the new schedule here.

West Seattle Water Taxi’s spring/summer plan, including which late nights it’ll run and which it won’t

1:44 PM: Metro has finalized the West Seattle Water Taxi‘s plan for this spring/summer:

-Friday/Saturday late-night service resumes April 19 and continues through October 11 (last run from downtown will be 10:45 pm)
-No service the weekend of April 13-14, to get ready for the season
-‘No late-night sailings Sundays through Thursdays, including after-evening events at Lumen Field or T-Mobile Park’

Also coming up this summer, midday Water Taxi service for Vashon – which previously only had service during am and pm commutes – will be added starting July 1st, with funding from the state. That schedule won’t be finalized until June, but you can see the West Seattle summer schedule by going here.

8:41 PM: Thanks to Kanit for pointing out that shortly after we published this, Metro announced it IS adding special service for the opening Mariners’ homestand this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

FOLLOWUP: Here’s what caused Water Taxi vessel Sally Fox’s engine fire

March 4, 2024 7:19 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

(Friday photo, sent by Carolyn)

Last Friday, one of the two main King County Water Taxi vessels went out of service after a small engine fire, as reported here. We asked Metro today about the status of that vessel, M/V Sally Fox. Spokesperson Al Sanders told WSB this afternoon, “The engine fire on the Sally Fox was caused by a loose oil line to a turbocharger. The fire was small and the damage was superficial. Repairs have been made to the Sally Fox and the Marine Division is awaiting USCG approval to operate.” That was potentially expected by day’s end today, although the Water Taxi Watch tracker showed Sally Fox still at the downtown barge dock around day’s end.

P.S. We also asked about the problem early this morning that delayed the start of West Seattle service until 6:30 am. That involved M/V Spirit of Kingston, Sanders said, which was briefly “unable to transfer helm control to exterior station,” a problem that Water Taxi engineering staff handled.

UPDATE: West Seattle Water Taxi service resumes after 3-hour suspension following ‘minor engine fire’ on Sally Fox

(Photo sent by Jonathan)

8:37 AM: Thanks for the tips about the SFD response to the West Seattle Water Taxi dock at Seacrest. SFD says there were “no signs of active fire” so it reduced what was initially a large response.

(Added: Photo sent by Carolyn)

8:49 AM: All SFD units have left the scene. Metro says West Seattle Water Taxi service is canceled for the rest of the morning. The Sally Fox is still at Seacrest, its doors open.

(WSB photo)

9:05 AM: The crew won’t comment on what happened; the original dispatch was for a possible engine-room fire. We’re checking with Metro management for comment, including how this will affect service later in the day.

10:35 AM: Here’s the official statement via Metro spokesperson Elaine Porterfield:

A minor engine fire was detected and quickly extinguished at about 8 a.m. on the King County Water Taxi MV Sally Fox while at the Seacrest dock in West Seattle. Crew members quickly evacuated the one passenger on board and activated the automated fire suppression system. The fire was immediately extinguished. No injuries occurred and the Seattle Fire Department inspected the vessel and confirmed the fire was out. Four crew members were aboard.

The Port Engineer and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) will inspect the vessel. Once the vessel is cleared to depart Seacrest dock, it will be brought back to Pier 48. It is anticipated that the King County Water Taxi the MV Spirit of Kingston will be brought in to resume West Seattle midday service.

11:04 AM: Water Taxi Watch tracker shows Sally Fox has left Seacrest, headed downtown.

11:29 AM: Metro says service is resuming with the 11:30 am run from downtown to West Seattle.

11:51 AM: As noted by a commenter, service has resumed with Doc Maynard, not Spirit of Kingston, though Metro’s Porterfield tells us the vessel assignment might change later.

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Water Taxi fog delays likely tonight; ‘dense fog advisory’ alert

December 20, 2023 4:54 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

(Texted photo, looking toward downtown from Admiral this afternoon)

4:54 PM: Metro wants riders to know: “Thick fog is lingering in Elliott Bay this evening. The King County Water Taxis will be operating at reduced speeds while fog is present. Delays are likely.” The most recent West Seattle run was only six minutes later than scheduled, according to the real-time tracker.

5:25 PM: The National Weather Service has issued a “dense fog advisory” alert in effect through noon tomorrow (Thursday). Visibility could be as low as a quarter-mile.

WATER TAXI ALERT: Extra evening service for Monday’s Seahawks game

Going to Monday night’s Seahawks game? Metro invites you to travel by water:

On December 18, 2023, the West Seattle Water Taxi will be running extended service for the Seahawks game against Philadelphia. In addition to the regular service, the following departures have been added:

Departs Pier 50 to West Seattle/Departs West Seattle to Pier 50
7:30 p.m./8:00 p.m.
8:30 p.m./9:00 p.m.
9:30 p.m./10:00 p.m.
10:45 p.m./11:00 p.m.

The Water Taxi Shuttle (Routes 773 and 775) will be in service for the added sailings to get you from the dock to the West Seattle Junction and the Admiral District after the game.

WATER TAXI ALERT: Service suspended briefly because of downtown incident – here’s what it was

2:42 PM: From Metro: “Service for the King County Water Taxi is suspended until further notice as law enforcement responds to an incident at the Water Taxi Terminal at Pier 50.” That’s the downtown dock that serves both West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi routes. More info to come.

2:46 PM: Haven’t yet found out what the “incident” was, but Metro just sent another alert that Water Taxi service has resumed.

3:13 PM: Still trying to sleuth the “incident” – SPD says it wasn’t them. (Update: We’re told it was the Transit Police, so we’re checking with the King County Sheriff’s Office, of which they’re a part.)

3:54 PM: KCSO tells us, “A person left their suitcase by mistake in the middle of the water taxi terminal. This happened at 1359. The suitcase was reclaimed by the owner when they came back to reclaim it. Metro Transit PD was called into to facilitate a civil standby while the bag was given back.”

West Seattle Water Taxi adds Friday pm service for Sounders FC playoff match

November 9, 2023 12:49 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

Though the West Seattle Water Taxi was originally scheduled to be out of service tomorrow for the Veterans Day observation, Metro has added late afternoon and evening runs so Sounders FC fans can get to and from the playoff match vs. Dallas. The schedule can be found here – it starts with a 4:30 pm trip from West Seattle, and ends with a 10:45!pm trip from downtown. No shuttle bus, though, so you have to find another way to and from Seacrest. And Metro is still planning to keep the Water Taxi (and shuttles) entirely out of service on Saturday.

West Seattle Water Taxi crew intercepts runaway barge

The West Seattle Water Taxi‘s 2 pm run was delayed a bit today, and the explanatory alert was terse: “Crew of the Doc Maynard rescuing a barge that was adrift along the Seattle waterfront.” We asked Metro spokesperson Al Sanders for more info, and here’s what we received:

(Photo courtesy Metro)

Preliminary details from MV Doc Maynard Capt. Dan Krehbiel:

The Doc Maynard, a King County Water Taxi, was en route to Pier 50 from Seacrest Dock at approximately 1 p.m. when the crew spotted a fully loaded container barge dangerously adrift from Pier 18 near Harbor Island, headed across Elliott Bay.

When the Water Taxi crew didn’t spot a tug next to the barge, they moved to intercept the vessel, which was moving toward the vicinity of the Great Wheel and the Seattle Aquarium, and attempted to push the barge away from the heart of the waterfront.

Captain Krehbiel was able to use the Doc Maynard’s bow to push and direct the barge north, where it eventually landed in the vicinity of Pier 66. Tugs arrived to pin the ship to the terminal until the barge owner could arrange transport.

The Doc Maynard did not sustain any damage to the bow, which steered the wayward barge away from the waterfront. Water taxi service was delayed by approximately 15 minutes as a result of this incident.

A Twitter/X user got it on video – watch here. The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the barge mishap.

(USCG photo)

ADDED 6:49 PM: Kevin Freitas shares this time lapse from one of his cameras on this side of the bay:

WATER TAXI: Metro adds trips for Wednesday night’s Coldplay concert

They did it for Taylor Swift … for Beyoncé … and now they’re doing it for Coldplay: Adding later West Seattle Water Taxi trips so people going to the sold-out concert can get back here by water. From Metro‘s announcement for the added trips tomorrow (Wednesday, September 20th):

Heading home to West Seattle after the concert? The King County Water Taxi is scheduled for six trips from Pier 50 at starting at 7:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m., 11:30 p.m. and 12:15 a.m.)

The water taxi will have five trips from West Seattle starting at 8 p.m. (8 p.m., 9 p.m., 10 p.m., 11:00 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.)

If you’d rather ride the bus, Metro says they’ll add trips on three RapidRide lines, including C and H, which serve West Seattle.

Water Taxi to skip one October weekend to prepare for winter season

September 18, 2023 11:53 am
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

As we first reported on September 3rd, Metro plans to continue seven-days-a-week West Seattle Water Taxi service through the fall and winter again this year (and beyond). County Executive Dow Constantine officially announced it today. One key point in the announcement: No Water Taxi service the weekend of October 14-15, so maintenance can be done to get ready for the winter season.

WEST SEATTLE WATER TAXI: Runs added for Thursday night’s Beyoncé concert

Going to see Queen B at Lumen Field on Thursday night? Metro has announced extra West Seattle Water Taxi runs for the Beyoncé concert, as it did when Taylor Swift was in town:

The water taxi is scheduled for six trips from Pier 50 at starting at 7:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m., 11:30 p.m. and 12:15 a.m.) The water taxi will also have five trips from West Seattle starting at 8 p.m. (8 p.m., 9 p.m., 10 p.m., 11 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.)

Again, that’s tomorrow night (Thursday, September 14th). Metro also says it’ll add “a handful of trips” on unspecified bus routes “to help meet rider demand after the concert.”

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.”

Seeing Taylor Swift this weekend? Two West Seattle notes, including extra Water Taxi runs

Our inbox suggests the citywide excitement over this weekend’s sold-out Taylor Swift concerts at Lumen Field is more intense than what preceded last week’s All-Star Game. So, two notes:

EXTRA WATER TAXI AND RAPIDRIDE RUNS: Transit services are adding more runs for Saturday and Sunday, including Metro buses and the West Seattle Water Taxi. The WT will add 11:45 pm and 12:15 am runs from Pier 50 downtown both nights, and Metro has a special shuttle that will take concertgoers to the dock, as well as (updated) added C and H Line service.

YOUNGSTOWN COFFEE: The coffee crew at 6030 California SW is stoked. Here’s their announcement:

In celebration of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour coming to Seattle this weekend, Youngstown will be running a special Taylor’s Version menu and giveaway! Our menu and contest is running now through July 23rd (Taylor’s final night in Seattle) and a winner will be chosen that evening.

Prizes include Speak Now tay’s version CD, Youngstown gift card for $25, Youngstown t-shirt, and sticker. To enter, visit our shop and purchase any drink off of our Diva Summer or Taylor’s Version menus and get one entry form.

WATER TAXI: West Seattle route changes for Fourth of July, All-Star Week

Two updates on changes ahead for the West Seattle Water Taxi:

FOURTH OF JULY: The West Seattle route will be on a Sunday schedule for the holiday next Tuesday.

ALL-STAR WEEK: Sally emailed us, wondering whether the Water Taxi would add any runs for the big baseball festivities coming up. We asked Metro/Water Taxi spokesperson Al Sanders – here’s his reply:

The West Seattle Water Taxi will have extended service during the ASG festivities. They already have the late service on Friday and Saturday and it will sail until 11 pm on Sun 7/9, Mon 7/10 and Tues 7/11 to accommodate fans going to Play Ball Park at Lumen Field, and the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park.

MEMORIAL DAY: Yes, the West Seattle Water Taxi will run

May 23, 2023 5:21 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

Some holidays, the West Seattle Water Taxi is out of service. But next Monday, on Memorial Day, Metro says the foot ferry will be running between Seacrest and downtown (though the Vashon Island Water Taxi will NOT run that day). It will be on a Sunday schedule that day – you can see the times here. (Metro buses will be on Sunday schedules that day, too.)

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: Evening boat ride

April 29, 2023 7:45 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

Out walking in the Seacrest/Don Armeni area tonight, we noticed this crowd aboard the Water Taxi for an evening run to downtown. This is the second weekend of the year that the WT is on its full spring/summer schedule, including Friday and Saturday nights. Last scheduled run of the night is 11 pm from West Seattle to downtown.

West Seattle Water Taxi is now on spring/summer schedule. Will it revert to weekdays-only this fall?

April 18, 2023 4:21 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

As of this week, the West Seattle Water Taxi is on its spring/summer schedule. Since it continued seven-days-a-week service through the fall and winter, the only change is that it’s running Friday and Saturday nights too. In pre-pandemic times, the foot ferry cut back to weekdays only in the cooler months; seven-day service was facilitated by county funding this year, but city funding in 2021-2022, during the West Seattle Bridge closure. So we asked Metro today what the plan is for next fall/winter, since the current schedule is posted as ending on Friday, October 13th. Short answer: They don’t know yet. Long answer, from spokesperson Al Sanders: “Metro is currently evaluating the ridership from this winter and comparing it to last year when the bridge was closed. Once we have reviewed this information, we will be able to better determine what next winter’s Water Taxi schedule will be.”

WATER TAXI: What to know as spring/summer schedule approaches

(File photo)

The West Seattle route of the King County Water Taxi starts its spring/summer schedule later this month. Since it’s been running seven days a week all year, the schedule difference will be the addition of Friday and Saturday night runs, starting April 21st, running through 10:45 pm departures from downtown and 11 pm departures from West Seattle. To get ready for that, the West Seattle Water Taxi will be out of service the previous weekend, April 15-16. Metro – which operates the Water Taxi – says that will be necessary “to conduct training and maintenance.” The spring/summer schedule will continue through October 13th. (As for whether it’ll go to a weekday-only schedule after that – we’re checking.)

WATER TAXI ALERT: West Seattle route canceled for rest of today/tonight

February 22, 2023 3:48 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

After West Seattle Water Taxi cancellations because of weather this morning, as noted in our traffic/transit roundup, Metro resumed service late this morning and tried continuing it this pm, but just announced that today’s remaining runs are canceled. “Sustained high winds have created unsafe conditions at Seacrest dock,” Metro says. The email version of the alert adds:

The current marine weather forecast does not indicate any improvements by tomorrow morning. We will continue to monitor the weather and will send additional updates as more information becomes available.

During this time, Water Taxi shuttle routes 773 and 775 will continue to operate as usual in West Seattle.

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.