This is a copy of the letter I sent to Roger Millar, secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation and Amy Scarton, assistant secretary for Ferries Division:
I am writing to you in reference to the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry run. This is the second midweek evening that I have had to sit and wait for a very late boat (Wednesday, June 14 and Tuesday, June 20). I’ve arrived at the ferry booth in plenty of time to make the 8:25 or the 9 p.m. boats, but because of poor planning, the Tokitae, the larger of the two boats on this run, is out for maintenance during the busiest time of the year.
The fact that we are only allowed one larger boat on our run and it just so happens to need its maintenance during our peak season is ridiculous. Then, to add salt to the wound, you place the new Chimacum on the Bainbridge route instead of using it at Mukilteo/Clinton to help ease our long waits.
Yes, I understand the need for maintenance on our boats. But can it not be planned so that it would not affect the heavier summer months?
This was not even the peak of the season because schools had not even gotten out and families have not even started their vacations. Yet, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings the boats are full to capacity with people waiting in the holding area for hours.
In the past, I’ve been in Mukilteo when there are long lines and they have run an unscheduled boat. The other night I was told it was too early in the week to do that. What? Ridiculous thinking!
I do have some suggestions.
1. Have the two tiny boats continually run every half hour until the lots are cleared. Don’t shut them down at 9 p.m. and go to to every hour after that, or better yet,
2. Forget the schedule when it starts to get backed up and just run as quickly as they can be loaded.
3. Put the Chimacum up here!
You also should not be charging us summer high peak rates when we don’t have full service.
Planning is everything!
With no parking in Mukilteo (don’t get me started on that one!), we, our families and friends have no alternatives but to drive. WSDOT needs to make this better.