Marine Log

April 6, 2006

Washington State Ferries plans major expansion

Following a series of public meetings last June, Washington State Ferries (WSF) has completed its Draft Long-Range Strategic Plan for ferry system operations and investments through 2030. The final Plan will guide WSF investments and priorities over the next 25 years, and will become part of the statewide Washington Transportation Plan (WTP).

More and more people will be living in counties served by the ferry system over the next 25 years. The population in these counties is projected to increase by 40 to 60 percent, with growth in employment rising at a slower rate. This is particularly true in Kitsap County. As a result, many pople will need to use the ferry to commute to work on the east side of the Sound, leading to a nearly 70 percent increase in overall ferry ridership by the year 2030. Vehicle traffic is expected to grow at a slower rate, nearly 40 percent.

The draft plan envisages a three phase vessel procurement program.

Between 2006 and 2013, WSF would add four expanded versions of its current mid-size Issaquah class ferries.

Between 2014 and 2021, WSF would add four expanded Issaquah class vessels and modify three Jumbo Class II ferries.

Between 2022 and 2030, WSF would add six expanded Issaquah class vessels.

The capital investment required to (1) maintain the existing fleet and facilities and (2) deliver the new vessels and terminal improvements, as outlined in the Draft Plan, would total approximately $5.6 billion over the next 25 years (in year of expenditure dollars by biennium) including debt service commitments.

More details at: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/planning/

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