Ferry system needs to rethink its ‘scheduled’ maintenance plans


Have I missed something? Did I read that the Tokitae was withdrawn from the high-volume Clinton-Mukilteo ferry run during the very busy Fourth of July holiday? Did I also understand the Washington State Ferries (WSF) spokesman to say this idiotic move is made necessary by required “scheduled maintenance?”

Having spent most of my adult life in government and military service, but also having a basic knowledge of several words in the English language, I might be excused in thinking that “scheduled maintenance” implies maintenance that is put on some sort of timetable/calendar by someone in authority who is paid to take into consideration all factors surrounding the issues at hand.

In this case, I’m assuming there’s a process designed to minimize mechanical wear and tear, increasing the boat’s usefulness and longevity. We’re all for that, seeing that WSF is funded by Washington taxpayers. May or June would have been better timing. A little early perhaps, but from 2017 forward, the schedule maintenance would be during a less demanding time. What? January or February would be even better. The hell you say!

In the American South you occasionally hear: “You’d (expletive) and complain if we hung you with a new rope.” Sad but true. Might there be a swamp in Olympia needing a “scheduled” draining? Just saying.

If you or I, or any other reasonable taxpayer, were in charge of the WSF system for just one day, there’d be a senior maintenance/operations person looking for a new position, possible one down on the Tokitae deck where they could tick off the hours to their less-than-honourable “scheduled” retirement.



P.S. Perhaps the WSF system will consider this letter as legitimate input regarding the proposed fare increases for 2017 and 2018. I can’t wait to pay more for less service. Perhaps rate increases and management salaries should be tied to actual, measurable performance standards and basic customer service? “Perish the thought,” one might expect WSF management to respond.

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