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Ferry Case Studies 57 Emergency Response WIFL is part of Washington Island's emergency evacuation plan. In addition to emergency evacuations, WIFL also provides service for everyday emergencies, such as transporting ambu- lances or necessary supplies. WIFL is on call 24 hours a day for this service and charges after- hour rates to those users. Seattle Metropolitan Area Ferry System Quickfacts Operator Service # of # of Annual Annual Fleet Age Category Routes Vessels Passengers Vehicles (years) Washington Highway 10 23 22,500,000 10.1 164 State Ferries Ferry Essential Port of Transit 1 2 n/a n/a 530 Kingston Ferry Urban Kitsap Transit 2a 3 500,000 n/a Historic Transit Ferry Mosquito Urban Fleet Newly Acquired King County Transit 2b 2 300,000 n/a 2025 Water Taxi Ferry Urban a Kitsap Transit is currently undergoing planning for a new ferry route b Forecast since King County has been in operation less than 1 year History Before roads and railroads were prevalent, ferry boats were the main mode of transportation for people traveling along Puget Sound. From the 1850s to the 1930s, so many steamboats tra- versed Puget Sound waterways that locals nicknamed the Sound's fleet of ferries "the Mosquito Fleet," because the steamboats often resembled a "swarm of mosquitoes" (The Free Online Ency- clopedia of Washington State History, accessed April 22, 2010). The Mosquito Fleet was not a unified fleet under one or a few owners--the ferries were often independently owned. At one time, over 2,500 individual steamboats were part of the Mosquito Fleet (The Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, accessed April 22, 2010). Seat- tle's central location within Puget Sound transformed the area into a major maritime transporta- tion hub, and the Mosquito Fleet moved both human and animal cargo, mail, machinery, and all goods necessary to supply and build the settlements that lined the coast from Olympia to Alaska (including Seattle). The emerging dominance of private automobiles that could not be accommodated on the steamboats signified the end of the Mosquito Fleet era. The completion of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge released a fleet of diesel-electric automobile ferries from San Francisco Bay ferry service that would soon arrive in Puget Sound and replace the Mosquito Fleet. The last scheduled run occurred in 1939 (The Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, accessed April 22, 2010). Through World War II, ferries servicing Puget Sound remained a private enterprise. Ferry ser- vice had been consolidated under one main operator, Black Ball Line, although the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission regulated fare prices and increases. Rising ten- sions between Black Ball Line, the state, and the public over continued fare increases, shutdowns,

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58 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services and strikes led to the state developing a ferry system under the Washington State Toll Authority in 1948 (The Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, accessed April 20, 2010). In 1949, after a protracted public and private battle between the state and Black Ball Line, an agreement was reached allowing the state to purchase a majority of the equipment and opera- tions of Puget Sound Navigation Company, the parent company of Black Ball Lines. On June 1, 1951, Washington state entered the ferry business with reflagged Black Ball ferries (The Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, accessed April 20, 2010). Today Washington State Ferries (WSF) is the largest ferry system in the United States, serv- ing eight counties within Washington State and the Province of British Columbia in Canada. WSF owns 22 vessels, stops at 20 different ports of call, and carries approximately 23 million people and 10 million vehicles annually. New state legislation has moved WSF away from passenger-only ferry service, which has led a number of local jurisdictions to take over or start new passenger-only ferry routes in Puget Sound. Ferry service is continually evolving to best serve the people in Puget Sound. Organizational Structure For this case study, four ferry operators were interviewed. While this does not cover all of the ferry operators in the area, the sampling of operators interviewed represents a broad swath of services and populations served by ferries. The four operators--Washington State Ferries, King County, Kitsap Transit, and Port of Kingston--are discussed below. Washington State Ferries WSF is a part of the Washington State Department of Transportation, reports to the Gov- ernor's Office, and is funded by the Washington State Legislature. Considered an extension of the Washington state highways, WSF operates with the goal of moving people and automo- biles across the state's waterways. It is the second largest public ferry operation in North Amer- ica, transporting over 22.5 million passengers and 10 million vehicles a year (Interview with Washington State Ferries, November 2, 2009). WSF recently ceased operating all passenger- only ferry services following state legislative direction that WSF provide statewide transpor- tation services as opposed to passenger-only services, which are viewed by the state as local transit services. King County In 2007, the King County Council created the King County Ferry District (KCFD) to operate two passenger-only ferry routes out of downtown Seattle. The KCFD funds and oversees the operations of two existing water taxi services. The KCFD contracts with the King County Marine Division for operations. Kitsap Transit Kitsap Transit is Kitsap County's transit agency, providing routes, bus services, vanpools, and paratransit services in addition to passenger-only ferry service. The ferry service is contracted out to a private operator that operates and maintains the ferry boats. Kitsap Transit retains man- agement of the service and oversees all financial and funding concerns. Port of Kingston The Port of Kingston was established by the state legislature in 1919 as one of the original Mos- quito Fleet landing sites. The Port of Kingston is a municipal corporation governed by three directly elected commissioners. Currently, the Port of Kingston provides marina and dock ser- vices to Kingston.

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Ferry Case Studies 59 Operational Structure System/Service Routes See Figure 5-12 for a map of ferry routes discussed in this case study. Washington State Ferries. WSF operates nine ferry routes across Puget Sound and an inter- national route to Sidney, British Columbia, in Canada. Ferry routes provide highway connec- tions in the place of bridges or, in some cases, provide ferry service to locations such as the San Juan Islands and Vashon Island that don't have roadway access. Routes vary in nature from 15-minute, low-volume crossings such as Point DefianceTahlequah to the 3-hour AnacortesSidney, British Orcas Shaw Anacortes Sidney Friday Harbor Lopez Coupeville Port Townsend Clinton Mukilteo Edmonds Kingston Seattle Bainbridge Island Annapolis West Seattle Bremerton Port Fauntleroy Orchard Southworth Vashon Tahlequah Port Defiance Figure 5-12. Puget Sound ferry routes.

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60 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services Columbia, route. The heaviest commuter routes are in the Central Puget Sound area: Seattle Bainbridge Island, EdmondsKingston, and MukilteoClinton. These routes comprise about 60 percent of WSF's ridership. Table 5-16 shows WSF ferry route information. King County. King County runs two ferry routes under the water taxi branding. The two routes provide year-round commuter service from downtown Seattle to Vashon Island and West Seattle. In the summer, additional service is provided on the West Seattle route. The Vashon route, which was transitioned to King County in September 2009, is a commuter route operat- ing Monday through Friday with three runs in the morning and three in the evening. The West Seattle route, which transitioned to King County in-house operations in April 2010, runs 7 days a week during the summer, with service hours between 11 and 16 hours a day. Table 5-16. Washington State ferry routes. Route Service Service Schedule Crossing Crossing Season Time Location Seattle Year-round Seattle: 6 a.m. to 12:50 60 min Puget Sound Bremerton a.m. Bremerton: 4:50 a.m. to 11:40 p.m. Seattle Year-round Seattle: 5:30 a.m. to 1:35 35 min Puget Sound Bainbridge a.m. Islanda Bainbridge: 4:45 a.m. to 12:55 a.m. Edmonds Year-round Edmonds: 5:45 a.m. to 30 min Puget Sound Kingston 1:00 a.m. Kingston: 5:05 a.m. to 12:20 a.m. Mukliteo/Clinton Year-round Mukliteo: 5:05 a.m. to 20 min Puget Sound South Whidbey 2:00 a.m. Island Clinton: 4:40 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Pt. Townsend Year-round Pt. Townsend: 6:30 a.m. 30 min Puget Sound Coupeville to 8:30 p.m. Keystone: 7:15 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. Fauntleroy Year-round Fauntleroy: 4:25 a.m. to Fauntleroy Puget Sound Southworth/ 2:10 a.m. Southworth: Vashona Southworth: 4:30 a.m. to 40 min (30 1:30 a.m. min for Vashon: 4:05 a.m. to 1:20 direct route) a.m. Fauntleroy Vashon: 20 min (45 min via Southworth) Southworth Year-round Southworth: 4:30 a.m. to 10 min (50 Puget Sound Vashona 1:20 a.m. min via Vashon: 4:005:00 a.m. Fauntleroy) to 2:40 a.m. Pt. Defiance Year-round Pt. Defiance: 5:05 a.m. to 15 min Puget Sound Tahlequah 10:30 p.m. Tahlequah: 5:30 a.m. to 10:55 p.m. AnacortesSan Year-round Anacortes: 4:25 a.m. to San Juan San Juan Juan Islands 12:35 a.m.; one daily trip Islands Islands Sidney, BC between Sidney/Anacortes Friday Harbor: 5:55 a.m. to 11:35 p.m.; one daily trip between Sidney/Anacortes a Route has a different weekday and weekend schedule. Only the weekday schedule is shown

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Ferry Case Studies 61 Figure 5-13. Washington State Ferrydowntown Seattle terminal. The Vashon route has been operating at approximately 13,000 to 14,000 passengers a month. The West Seattle route monthly passenger totals vary dramatically between peak and non-peak seasons, with ridership during the summer of nearly 40,000 and considerably lower ridership during the commute-only winter season. The winter of 2010/2011 is the first winter that the West Seattle service provided service on weekdays and during commute periods only. King County does not own any park-and-ride locations. There is no parking at the downtown Seattle site, which is leased from, and adjacent to, WSF (see photo of ferries at downtown Seattle terminal in Figure 5-13). In Vashon, the ferry terminal is collocated next to the WSF terminal, where scheduled Metro buses meet ferry arrivals. In West Seattle, there is limited street parking adjacent to the ferry terminal. The terminal is supported by a shuttle service, which offers a reduced transfer for ferry passengers. Table 5-17 provides information on the King County ferry routes. Kitsap Transit. Kitsap Transit contracts out for service the two ferry routes from Bremer- ton. The two routes are relatively short--the AnnapolisBremerton route takes between 5 and 7 minutes, and the Port OrchardBremerton route takes 12 minutes. Overall, the system carries 500,000 annually, although ridership has seen a decline during the recent economic downturn Table 5-17. King County ferry routes. Route Service Service Schedule Crossing Crossing Season Time Location Vashon Year-round Weekday: 6:10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 22 min Puget Sound Downtown Seattle West Seattle Seasonal: MTh: 6:50 a.m. to 7:10 p.m.a 15 min Puget Downtown April to F: 6:50 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sound/Elliot Seattle October Sa: 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Bay Su: 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. a The Friday extended schedule is operated on weekday home game nights for the Mariners or Sounders.

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62 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services Table 5-18. Kitsap Transit ferry routes. Route Service Service Schedule Crossing Crossing Season Time Location Port Orchard Year-round Port Orchard: 4:30 a.m. to 12 min Sinclair Inlet Bremerton 8:30 p.m. Bremerton: 4:45 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. Annapolis Year-round Annapolis: 6:00 a.m. to 5 min Sinclair Inlet Bremerton 5:47 p.m. Bremerton: 6:07 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Bremerton Year-round To be determined 30 min Puget Sound Downtown Seattlea a Route under development (Interview with Kitsap Transit, April 21, 2010). Kitsap Transit is also undergoing planning efforts for a BremertonDowntown Seattle route that is discussed in more depth later in this case study. Kitsap Transit has over 3,000 park-and-ride spaces sprinkled throughout its service territory that service the ferry terminals. Most park-and-ride lots are not near the ferry terminal, with the closest being approximately 1 to 2 miles away. Scheduled bus services feed passengers from the park-and-ride lots to the ferry terminals. The park-and-ride lots are a mix of free and paid lots, with some shared parking in downtown Bremerton and other lots located within easy access of major arterials. Most of the park-and-ride lots are free, although there are plans for some lots to become pay lots, especially those located closer to the ferry terminals. Table 5-18 summarizes information about the Kitsap Transit ferry routes. Port of Kingston. Similar to the Kitsap Transit route connecting Bremerton and downtown Seattle, the route from the Kingston to downtown Seattle by the Port of Kingston is a restart of a failed ferry route that previously had been operated by a private company. That route closed after 9 months due to a spike in fuel prices, inappropriately-sized boats for the ridership, and a lack of revenue to recoup operating losses (Interview with Port of Kingston, April 15, 2010). New service between Kingston and downtown Seattle began in late 2010 and is sponsored by the Port of Kingston. The service operates during the commute period, Monday through Friday, commuter service, with one trip in each peak direction. The Port of Kingston expected a starting ridership of 80 passengers a day, with ridership increas- ing to 120 to 130 passengers a day after a year in service (Interview with Port of Kingston, April 15, 2010). The new route to downtown Seattle offers a more direct commute and time savings for com- muters. Many commuters currently drive or take the bus to Bainbridge Island and then transfer to the WSF ferry to downtown Seattle. This commuting route can often take longer than 60 minutes. The new ferry route offers a 45-minute crossing time without the transfer penalty. The Port of Kingston does have dedicated parking for its marina services, which are managed separately from passengers parking for the ferry terminal. The operating plan relies on most pas- sengers using Kitsap Transit buses or kiss-and-ride drop-offs for access to the ferry terminal. The Port of Kingston expects most passengers to arrive for the ferry service via Kitsap Transit bus or drop-offs (Interview with Port of Kingston, April 15, 2010). Table 5-19 shows Port Kingston ferry route information. Facility and Vessel Maintenance Washington State Ferries. WSF has 23 ferries in its fleet: 21 automobile-passenger ferries and two passenger-only ferries. Due to WSF's financial situation in the past decade, vessel replacement

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Ferry Case Studies 63 Table 5-19. Port Kingston ferry routes. Route Service Service Schedule Crossing Crossing Season Time Location Kingston Year-round To be determined 45 min Puget Sound Downtown Seattle and new vessel procurement has been delayed in favor of maintaining existing boats in order to maintain level of service. Even with the retirement of four 80-year-old vessels in 2007, WSF has four vessels over 50 years old, with an additional five vessels that are 44 years old. Only three ves- sels are less than 25 years old. Currently, WSF has three, new, small, 64-automobile boats on order that can carry loads of 750 passengers. While these boats will supplement the fleet, it costs $55 to $115 million per boat to replace aging vessels with 64- to 144-car ferries (Interview with Wash- ington State Ferries, November 2, 2009). Not all boats are interchangeable within the system, as some routes are fairly short while the international route to Sidney, British Columbia, requires a boat designed for open water with safety-of-life-at-sea features. Other issues make interchangeability difficult, such as the uneven distribution of ridership on routes throughout the system and route distance and crossing times. WSF acknowledges the need for a few specialty vessels of small or large size but is seeking to increase the number of intermediate-sized 144-car vessels in order to improve interchangeabil- ity and vessel assignment flexibility. King County. King County is currently leasing two boats for its two water taxi routes. The leases are for two 77-foot catamarans that carry 150 passengers. King County does not have a designated maintenance facility for its leased vessels, and all daily maintenance is conducted at Pier 50, the passenger-only dock leased from WSF. Boats are also tied up overnight at Pier 50. King County is working to build a maintenance and moorage barge that can moor away from the passenger dock for overnight tie-downs and provide dedicated maintenance facilities (Inter- view with King County Metro, April 14, 2010). Kitsap Transit. Kitsap Transit owns one boat, which is a historic boat that is the last remain- ing passenger vessel from the famed Mosquito Fleet. The historic boat operates on the Port Orchard run, with a carrying capacity of 149 passengers. Kitsap Harbor Tours provides another boat for the Annapolis run, which is being stretched to increase passenger capacity from 85 to 115. The new boat purchased for the run from Bremerton to downtown Seattle will have a capacity of 120 passengers (Interview with Kitsap Transit, April 21, 2010). The new boat, currently undergoing test runs, is a low-wake, partial hydrofoil that sits 18 inches above water and has a carbon fiber wing. The 120-passenger vessel cost $5.2 million and is designed to get through the narrow Rich Passage at 37 knots, to meet the designated 30-minute crossing time without causing shore damage or erosion (Interview with Kitsap Transit, April 21, 2010). The boat is constructed of composite and aluminum, reducing the boat's weight, which results in minimum wake and wash and thus little impact on the shoreline. As part of its contract with Kitsap Transit, Kitsap Harbor Tours does all daily maintenance and cleaning on the boats for both ferry routes. Kitsap Transit pays for the twice-yearly haul- outs and Coast Guard inspections. Kitsap Transit anticipates continuing this practice for the new route as well. Fuel is purchased 3 days a week in bulk, although part of Kitsap Transit's long-term plan is to build three fueling stations to provide for their own vehicles. Kitsap Transit would own the fueling stations and the distribution system, using small trucks to bring fuel to the terminal. Kitsap Transit is currently finishing an environmental impact statement (EIS) on storage tanks that can hold 12,000 gallons of fuel. By building a storage tank, Kitsap Transit can reduce its fuel

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64 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services costs by 30 cents a gallon. The storage tanks would be built using American Recovery Investment Act funds (Interview with Kitsap Transit, April 21, 2010). Port of Kingston. The Port of Kingston recently purchased two new vessels, the Spirit of Kingston and the Victoria Express. The Spirit is a 5-year-old, 65-foot catamaran with a 150-passenger load capacity. The Victoria is a 30-year-old boat that functions as the reserve for when the Spirit is out of commission. The Spirit cruises at about 25 knots to make the 45-minute crossing, burning approx- imately 80 to 85 gallons of fuel an hour. When the Victoria is in service, she burns 50 gallons of fuel an hour but at a slower speed (Interview with Port of Kingston, April 15, 2010). The Port of Kingston anticipates conducting all daily maintenance and haul-outs within its marina facilities (Interview with Port of Kingston, April 15, 2010). Included with the purchase of the new vessels are extended warranties on boat engines with the manufacturer. Haul-outs for repair and maintenance will likely occur at Port Townsend, and the Port expects to solicit bids for contract with a yard to complete the required haul-out work. System Infrastructure Washington State Ferries. WSF has 20 ports of call in its system. The sizes and types of terminals vary depending on the route and ridership. The downtown Seattle Colman Dock, Bremerton, Bainbridge, and Anacortes terminals have indoor passenger waiting facilities while other terminals have smaller or no covered waiting areas. Overhead passenger loading is used at six terminals; at all other terminals, foot passengers walk onto the vehicle deck, which increases the time it takes to load and offload the vessel. Other terminals, such as the Sidney, British Columbia, terminal, require special facilities for handling immigration and waiting areas. For a system that carries millions of vehicles every year, WSF's terminal capacity is a major issue, especially during peak times. WSF has worked on updating and expanding its vehicle reser- vation system to reduce the waiting time for passengers with cars and eliminate waiting queues that extend beyond the holding areas at the terminals. WSF is looking into incentives and pro- grams that will encourage passengers to ride during off-peak periods. King County. King County is currently leasing the three terminals that service its two routes. The downtown Seattle terminal, Pier 50, is leased from WSF, as well as the Vashon terminal. King County recently built a new dock at the West Seattle terminal in Seacrest Park, which is owned by the City of Seattle. King County has a long-term use agreement with the City of Seattle to use the dock there (Interview with King County Metro, April 14, 2010). Kitsap Transit. Kitsap Transit owns the floats in Bremerton and Port Orchard and recently spent $4.5 million in improvements at Bremerton to install a new ramp and improve the Amer- ican with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility at the passenger terminal. A new terminal in Port Orchard cost approximately $3 million with upgraded ADA ramps. Kitsap Transit has applied for federal funding to improve the ADA ramps at the terminal in Annapolis (Interview with Kitsap Transit, April 21, 2010). The proposed ferry from Bremerton to downtown Seattle would dock at Pier 50, which is owned by WSF. There is currently a two-sided float for passenger ferries; one side is being used by King County Water Taxi. Kitsap Transit is considering a longer-term arrangement at Pier 57, which is adjacent to the Seattle Aquarium and owned by the park district. The agreement to lease Pier 57 would be funded through parking improvements made at the pier (Interview with Kitsap Transit, April 21, 2010). Port of Kingston. The Kingston terminal is located at the Port of Kingston. The passen- ger terminal is a semi-temporary space of several shipping containers welded together. There are windows installed for some natural lighting. The long-term plan for the Kingston termi-

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Ferry Case Studies 65 nal is to add in post and beams for a new waiting area with doors (Interview with Port of Kingston, April 15, 2010). The ferry would dock at Coleman Dock in downtown Seattle, shar- ing space with King County Water Taxi and Kitsap Transit's proposed ferry from Bremerton to downtown Seattle. Staffing Levels Washington State Ferries. WSF employs more than 1,800 people in its agency, including crew members, maintenance staff, and administrative staff. A typical boat is crewed by a captain who is assisted by a chief mate, a quartermaster, and a bridge officer (Interview with Washing- ton State Ferries, November 2, 2009). King County. King County is currently operating at minimum crew levels; each boat has one captain and two deckhands. There is a small engineering staff of two engineers and two oil- ers. There are five administrative staff positions. As the operation has just launched, use is made of other King County Department of Transportation staff's administrative time and expertise, but those staff members are paid for from the ferry budget (Interview with King County Metro, April 14, 2010). Kitsap Transit. Kitsap Transit does not have a staff dedicated to the ferry service, although some staff members have dedicated workloads that affect ferry service. At Kitsap Transit, there is one staff member dedicated to watching budgets and overhead spending and that person is responsible for the One Regional Card for All (ORCA) program. The operations and daily main- tenance are handled through the contract with Kitsap Harbor Tours (Interview with Kitsap Transit, April 21, 2010). Port of Kingston. The Port of Kingston will have a full-time crew of three to four people and a part-time crew of three to four people to handle fill-in needs and private chartering events. An engineer and deckhand will handle all daily maintenance on the boat. The Port of Kingston also anticipates hiring three to four people as administrative support staff, although these posi- tions have yet to be filled (Interview with Port of Kingston, April 15, 2010). Financial Structure Released on a limited basis in April 2009, the ORCA card is a contactless stored-value smart card used for payment of public transit fares in the Puget Sound region. Now fully launched within the region, the smart card system is the result of an agreement between seven public transit agencies-- Sound Transit, King County Metro, Community Transit, Everett Transit, Pierce Transit, Kitsap Transit, and WSF. ORCA has eliminated intersystem paper fare transfer, although each individual agency still maintains a paper ticket system. While many public transit users are ORCA card users or are familiar with the system, implementing ORCA can be a major financial investment for smaller transit agencies joining the system (ORCA website, accessed April 26, 2010). Fares Washington State Ferries. WSF fares are divided into numerous categories, which are sum- marized in Table 5-20. There are differences in price for automobiles less than 20 feet long and less than 7.5 feet in height and automobiles less than 20 feet long and over 7.5 feet in height. Fares also increase per each additional 10 feet in automobile length. A peak season surcharge is applied to cover the costs of additional service and staff during the summer months, which is defined as May through October. WSF is planning the future rollout of an online registration system to manage demand, especially demand by passengers with vehicles during the peak season. The reservation system is seen as a mechanism to shift passenger demand and travel times to off-peak or slightly off-peak time periods

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66 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services Table 5-20. WSF ferry route fares. Route Walk-on Automobile Bicycle Fare Peak Fare Peak Season Farea Fare Peak Season Under 20 ft to Under 20 ft to Season Farea 20 ft 80 ft 20 ft 80 ft Farea Seattle $3.45 $3.45 $10.10 $17.80 $13.10 $22.30 $1.00 $1.00 Bremerton to to to to to to $6.90 $6.90 $11.85 $94.80 $14.85 $118.80 Seattle $3.45 $3.45 $10.10 $17.80 $13.10 $22.30 $1.00 $1.00 Bainbridge to to to to to to Islanda $6.90 $6.90 $11.85 $94.80 $14.85 $118.80 Edmonds $3.45 $3.45 $10.10 $17.80 $13.10 $22.30 $1.00 $1.00 Kingston to to to to to to $6.90 $6.90 $11.85 $94.80 $14.85 $118.80 Mukliteo/ $2.05 $2.05 $5.95 $10.50 $7.70 $13.15 $1.00 $1.00 ClintonSouth to to to to to to Whidbey Island $4.10 $4.10 $7.00 $56.00 $8.75 $70.00 Pt. Townsend $1.30 $1.30 $7.80 $13.75 n/a n/a $0.50 $0.50 Keystone to to to to $2.65 $2.65 $9.15 $73.20 Fauntleroy $3.20 $3.20 $12.95 $22.80 $16.75 $28.50 $1.00 $1.00 Southworth/ to to to to to to Vashona $4.45 $4.45 $15.20 $121.60 $19.00 $152.00 Southworth $3.20 $3.20 $12.95 $22.80 $16.75 $28.50 $1.00 $1.00 Vashona to to to to to to $4.45 $4.45 $15.20 $121.60 $19.00 $152.00 Pt. Defiance $3.20 $3.20 $12.95 $22.80 $16.75 $28.50 $1.00 $1.00 Tahlequah to to to to to to $4.45 $4.45 $15.20 $121.60 $19.00 $152.00 AnacortesSan Fares vary from $6.70 to $17.50 for walk-on passengers and from $12.50 to Juan Islands $41.90 for standard automobiles, depending on trip length and destination. Sidney, BC a Peak Season runs from May 1 through October 31. since passengers know instantly if they can reserve a space on the boat. Instant information has also reduced somewhat the long queues that used to extend far beyond terminal waiting areas at some terminals. King County. The King County Water Taxi accepts cash (exact change) or the ORCA card for payment of fares. The King County Ferry District implemented the ORCA card system on its ferries. While the implementation cost is borne by the ferry district's budget, it can use techni- cal assistance through King County Metro. Approximately 80 percent of the riders on the Vashon route use the ORCA card (Interview with King County Metro, April 14, 2010). By comparison, the West Seattle route handles many cash fares, with cash or tickets representing between 60 percent and 70 percent of the fares during the summer season. Fares are collected at the gangway, using a cash box for exact fare (no change is made) and portable ORCA card readers. Route fares are shown in Table 5-21. Kitsap Transit. Kitsap Transit is one of the original agencies to implement the ORCA card. The system has been installed in approximately 95 percent of the Kitsap Transit vehicles, includ- ing the ferries (Interview with Kitsap Transit, April 21, 2010). While most of the ORCA infrastruc- ture is in place, Kitsap Transit estimates that it will take approximately 20 years to earn back the Table 5-21. King County ferry route fares. Route Cash Transit Senior Youth Fare Pass Fare Fare VashonDowntown Seattle $4.50 $3.75 $2.00 $2.75 West SeattleDowntown Seattle $3.50 $3.00 $1.50 $2.25

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Ferry Case Studies 67 Table 5-22. Kitsap Transit ferry route fares. Route Fare Port OrchardBremerton $2.00 regular/$1.00 AnnapolisBremerton reduced capital cost of installing the system (Interview with Kitsap Transit, April 21, 2010). Despite the huge capital costs, Kitsap Transit believes that ORCA offers regional customer convenience and that Kitsap Transit's integration into the regional transit system is a benefit to both customers and the agency. Route fares are shown in Table 5-22. Port of Kingston. The Port of Kingston is working to implement the ORCA system on its new ferry boats. Kitsap Transit is providing technical assistance to the Port of Kingston with installation of the ORCA system and advice regarding the purchase of infrastructure to imple- ment the system. Port of Kingston fares are shown in Table 5-23. Funding Sources Washington State Ferries. Funding for WSF comes through the state legislature. Histori- cally, WSF had dedicated tax funding through two sources: (1) the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET), which was the primary source of revenue, providing 20 percent of WSF's operating funds and 75 percent of its capital funds, and (2) a portion of gas tax money (Interview with Washington State Ferries, November 2, 2009). In 2000, the MVET was eliminated by the Wash- ington State Legislature subsequent to a voter initiative in 1999. At this point, WSF lost its main source of dedicated tax revenue. In 2002, voters rejected Referendum 51, which would have provided $720 million for new fer- ries, terminals, and maintenance and service preservation. The state later approved two trans- portation packages that included $300 million for ferry vessel and terminal construction and $200 million over 16 years for ferry projects; however, the funding in these packages did not match the funding levels that Referendum 51 would have provided nor did it make up for the loss of the MVET. Washington state is provided with a dedicated $5 million annually from the Ferry Boat discretionary fund and also competes for other federal funds; however, the need is much greater (Washington State Transportation Commission, 2009). Since then, WSF has continued service through a combination of service reductions and fare hikes and deferred maintenance and vessel replacement. WSF's capital program has been back- filled on a biennium basis from transfers from the highway side of WSDOT, which has to defer road projects that otherwise would have been built. The aging fleet and stepped-up hull inspec- tions resulted in deferred maintenance, leading to several unanticipated service interruptions. Rising fuel prices have raised the cost of operations and simultaneously depressed ridership and fare revenue. Although fuel costs have moderated in recent months, they remain a major point of uncertainty (Washington State Transportation Commission, 2009). A combination of rising fares, increased service disruptions, increased telecommuting, long- term elasticity of higher fares, and eliminated routes has led to decreasing ridership throughout Table 5-23. Port of Kingston ferry route fares. Route Fare Port of KingstonDowntown To be determined (estimates Seattle of $1.00$15.00) Bicycles (estimate $3.00)

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68 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services the WSF system. Between 1987 and 1999, WSF saw a 50-percent increase in ridership, from 18 million passengers to 27 million passengers annually (Washington State Transportation Commission, 2009). Ridership began dropping after 1999, first because of service cuts and then because of major fare increases--20 percent in 2001, 12.5 percent in 2002, and then an average of 5 to 6 percent from 20032006. Ridership had dropped about 10 percent by 2006, stabilized, and then dropped again in 2007 and 2008 due to service disruptions, high gasoline prices, and the economic downturn. By 2009, ridership had fallen from 27 million to around 22.5 million passengers annually (Interview with Washington State Ferries, November 2, 2009). Due to the severity of the funding crisis faced by WSF, the state legislature commissioned Long- Term Ferry Funding Study: Ferry Funding Recommendations Final Report (Washington State Transportation Commission, 2009) to evaluate strategies for meeting WSF's long-term funding needs, as described in its Long-Range Plan, and to evaluate "state, regional, or local" funding options. The study's findings and recommendations were released in September 2010. They include the following: Finding: Long-term capital funding is the most critical need. Finding: Ferry fares are not a viable source of capital funding. Recommendation: Increase ferry fares and other operating revenues to close operating funding gap. Finding: Challenges to local funding districts are substantial. Recommendation: Use fare increases in lieu of local tax funding while leaving the option open for the future. Finding: A statewide source is the most feasible means of meeting long-term capital needs of the WSF system. Recommendation: Fund long-term capital needs with vehicle excise or similar tax. Recommendation: Set state tax rate to allow elimination of administrative transfers. King County. In 2008, the King County Ferry District Board of Directors enacted a new property tax levy of five and a half cents on every $1,000 of assessed property value. The levy was intended to cover the operating and capital costs of the two existing ferry routes plus the addi- tion of demonstration routes outlined in the business plan created by the ferry district. As the effects of the recession hit during 2009, the Ferry District, whose board of directors is the nine members of the King County Council, reduced the levy to a level approximating one-third of one cent for every $1,000 in property tax and redirected the difference toward shoring up King County Metro's budget (Interview with King County Metro, April 14, 2010). The reduction in the levy amount drastically changed the Ferry District's outlook for implementing its business plan as originally developed, with the 2010 work plan limiting operations to only two routes. Currently, the Ferry District has three sources of revenue: the property tax levy, farebox recov- ery, and federal grants. The ferries do not currently have any concessions onboard, mainly due to short trip times that are not conducive to food and drink sales. The Ferry District is, however, looking into opportunities for concessions at the terminals or on the vessels. Kitsap Transit. Kitsap Transit provides a range of transit services throughout Kitsap County in addition to its passenger-only ferry service. The two existing routes between Port Orchard and Bremerton and Annapolis and Bremerton are operated and maintained by a privately contracted company, Kitsap Harbor Tours, LLC. Kitsap Transit owns one boat, and the private operator provides one boat for service. Due to the relatively short route distances for each of the ferry routes, operating costs are absorbed through the overall Kitsap Transit budget. Kitsap Harbor Tours runs the boats and provides daily maintenance for the boats and the ter- minals. Crew member wages are set within the contract, and all major maintenance haul-outs

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Ferry Case Studies 69 are conducted by Kitsap Transit. The contract has a 5-year term, with the option to add an addi- tional 5 years when Kitsap Harbor Tours sells Kitsap Transit its boat (Interview with Kitsap Tran- sit, April 21, 2010). Kitsap Transit is currently undergoing planning and environmental studies for a new ferry route between Bremerton and downtown Seattle. The new route was previously operated by WSF, but due to environmental concerns and civil litigation, the route was discontinued in 2003. Kitsap Transit will be restarting the route under their oversight and has secured $5.2 million in federal grants to build a new low-wake boat. While the federal grants cover the capital costs for ves- sel procurement, there is no guaranteed operating funding stream yet available. Kitsap Transit is awaiting the opportunity to bring a bond measure before voters that will likely be a large trans- portation package that includes Kitsap Transit's funding needs. Kitsap Transit estimates that the new route will require an additional $5 to $6 million to operate. The agency does not anticipate a bond being put forth before the voters before 2012 (Interview with Kitsap Transit, April 21, 2010). Port of Kingston. The Port of Kingston is newly entering the ferry transit business, having never before operated a ferry route service. The Port of Kingston received a $3.5 million FTA grant that stipulated use toward purchasing vessels for future ferry service. In a 2010 interview, The Port of Kingston reported that it was developing its operating budget prior to service com- mencing in October 2010. Prior to starting service in October 2010, the Port planned to charter out its two vessels for the summer of 2010, by which the Port expected to generate a revenue stream of $400,000 to $500,000 to help fund the 20102011 operating budget (Interview with Port of Kingston, April 15, 2010). The Port anticipated that most of its operating revenue would be generated through a number of different sources including private boat chartering, route revenue, and advertising revenue. From the federal grant, the Port of Kingston purchased the Spirit of Kingston for $2.5 million and the Victoria Express for $650,000 (Interview with Port of Kingston, April 15, 2010). The monies left over from the purchase of the two ferry vessels, as well as the revenue generated from private boat charters prior to scheduled ferry service, are being applied to future operating budgets. Planning Issues Environmental and Regulatory Issues Washington State Ferries. WSF has been investigating various ways of reducing energy and fuel consumption. It has experimented with biofuels as an alternative fuel source as well as a means to reduce air emissions. WSF has also installed energy-efficient engines and fuel injectors to reduce fuel consumption. Operationally, slowing vessels down and operating vessels on fewer engines where possible is another tactic for conserving fuel. King County. King County performed a high-level environmental assessment when it restarted the water taxi service from Vashon Island to downtown Seattle. The vessels that King County has leased for this service generally create a smaller wake and consume less fuel than the vessels previously used on the route (Interview with King County Metro, April 14, 2010). Some environmental analysis was required at the terminals, but since this service was already in place, the Ferry District does not have to contend with any new water-based issues. King County is currently exploring the use of biodiesel, but is unsure what the cost or oper- ating implications are. King County will continue to investigate the best way to incorporate biodiesel into its fueling program. King County has secured several federal grants for new vessel design and construction for the two routes being served. The new vessel will be able to take advantage of new technologies to

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70 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services reduce fuel consumption and emissions, thereby reducing the carbon footprint associated with this service. Kitsap Transit. Kitsap Transit used the opportunity for restarting the route from Bremer- ton to downtown Seattle to research what was the most appropriate vessel for the route. The research considered fueling options such as biodiesel, natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells, and ultra- low-sulfur fuel. Natural gas and hydrogen fuel cells were eliminated as options because the boat needed to go faster than these fuels would allow. The research also considered hovercraft, but these boats burn 120 gallons of fuel an hour, which was too costly for Kitsap Transit (Interview with Kitsap Transit, April 21, 2010). Ultimately, the research pointed to hydrofoils, which are more lightweight and have good fuel economy. During its research efforts, Kitsap Transit found that there were a number of institutional drawbacks for advancing new technologies. Because some technologies are not yet mature, they cannot be tested by operators, and sometimes regulators are uncomfortable with new technolo- gies (Interview with Kitsap Transit, April 21, 2010). Land Use Issues Land use development around the various ferry terminals in the Puget Sound area is incon- sistent and is dependent on the individual nature of each community. Ferry terminals are located in both very urban locations, such as downtown Seattle, and rural areas where dense develop- ment is unlikely to occur. In West Seattle, the area is fairly built-out, so there is less capacity for centralized dense development. Vashon has remained a semi-rural area despite having an estab- lished ferry service for years. In downtown Bremerton, Kitsap Transit has invested approxi- mately $50 million, with $40 million spent on a new ferry terminal and $10 million spent on a new administrative building. Condominiums and activity centers have also been developed. The recent economic downturn has slowed down development, although interest remains high in the area. Emergency Response All of the operators are part of the larger regional emergency response plan. Some of the indi- vidual agencies, such as Kitsap Transit, play a large role in the county's emergency plan. The spare boat and a spare barge would be used to evacuate residents from Bainbridge Island and also to provide emergency connections. In the event of a collapsed bridge, Kitsap Transit would also pro- vide emergency connections between East Bremerton and West Bremerton. Each of the agencies reports a good working regional coordination relationship, which fosters open communication and information sharing among the different transit operators, both land- and water-based operators. This working relationship is evident in other regional collaborations, such as the ORCA card and in efforts to increase transit coordination between modes, especially ferries and buses. Most operators, aside from WSF, operate vessels with a capacity for 150 passengers or less. This is a deliberate decision by operators to avoid Department of Homeland Security regulations for operating vessels with a capacity for 150 or more passengers. For terminals, Coleman Dock is mandated to have a security plan in place, which also applies to King County and the Port of Kingston since they lease docking space there. In addition to security planning, WSF must comply with immigration regulations due to the international route to Sidney, British Columbia. All passengers who disembark in Sidney must carry appropriate documentation to go through customs. The ferry is mandated to wait until all passengers have cleared customs before returning to Anacortes. If a passenger fails to clear cus- toms, WSF must take the passenger back. The terminal in Sidney must also accommodate an