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Ferry comment period extended

It isn't too late to make comments about proposed changes to the state ferry system.

Friday, the Department of Transportation announced they would accept public input through Monday, Jan. 26 because of the "overwhelming response from communities."

"We are reviewing all the comments and determining what what modifications can be made to the options in the draft plan," said David Moseley, the department's assistant secretary for ferries.

Whidbey Islanders have expressed concerns about the ferry's long-range plans to increase fares and install a reservations system in peak traffic periods.

Also, Moseley announced that passenger-only service on Keystone/Port Townsend route will continue through mid-February, approximately two weeks longer than first expected.

The auto ferry leased for regular service on that route, Pierce County’s Steilacoom II, is in drydock for routine maintenance and its U.S. Coast Guard required annual inspection.

Comments are being taken through Jan. 26; e-mail wsfplanning@wsdot.wa.gov or write WSF, Attn. Joy Goldenberg, 2901 Third Ave., Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98121.

A revised draft plan, along with all of the public comments received, will be provided to the Legislature on Saturday, Jan. 31. The plan is intended to provide options for consideration during this Legislative session and will not be finalized until after it is reviewed and decisions are made by lawmakers.

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