The Washington State Transportation Commission has voted to increase ferry fares over the next year.
The proposal is designed to generate $357 million between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2017, as required in the 2015-17 state transportation budget for Washington State Ferries’ operations, according to a press release from the commission.
The commission’s unanimous vote was to make the following changes to fares over the next year:
- October 1, 2015: A 2.5 percent fare increase for vehicles and a 1 percent fare increase for passengers.
- October 1, 2015: The current over-height surcharge for vehicles less than 22 feet in length is eliminated.
- October 1, 2015: The over-height waiver currently in place for qualifying disability vehicles 22- to 30-feet long will be expanded to include any feature necessary to accommodate a disability on the vehicle, that may add height, rather than limiting it to a lift or other mechanism.
- May 1, 2016: A 2.5 percent fare increase for vehicles and a 1 percent fare increase for passengers.
- May 1, 2016: The over-height fare threshold for vehicles 22- to 30-feet long will be reduced from the current 7 feet 6 inches, to 7 feet 2 inches.
The commission held three public input meetings in Friday Harbor, Whidbey Island, and Bremerton, and also took input at the final hearing this week, the release states. They also held a virtual, online meeting. Input was provided at the public meetings and via emails.
Photo by Walter Siegmund/Wikimedia Commons