Fare increase looms for ferry travelers, including Clinton

Riding state ferries is likely to become a bit more expensive.

Riding state ferries is likely to become a bit more expensive.

In an attempt to meet a revenue goal set by the state legislature, officials from Washington State Ferries are proposing fare increases over the next two years.

Officials are considering two rounds of fare increases. The first would be a 3 percent increase in vehicle fares and a 2 percent increase in passenger fares that would take effect Oct. 1, 2013. The second would be a 2.5 percent increase in vehicle fares and a 2 percent increase in passenger fares that would take effect May 1, 2014.

Ferry officials presented their fare proposal last week at a Washington State Transportation Commission meeting. The commission is the state entity that has the authority to adjust fares for the ferry system.

Washington State Ferries has to raise $328 million to meet a budget requirement set by the Legislature, which is an increase from the amount set in the current biennium. Washington State Ferries is budgeted to collect $310 million in fares during the current biennium and it is meeting that forecasted amount, said Jean Baker, deputy chief of finance and administration for Washington State Ferries. Approximately 65 percent of the revenue Washington State Ferries receives comes from fares.

The proposal includes higher fare increases for vehicle fares than passenger fares.

“Passengers are cheaper to carry than cars,” Baker said. “We should be encouraging passenger traffic.”

Officials are also considering a fare structure for three-wheeled vehicles, which would pay the motorcycle fare if they are under eight-feet in length; change the youth fare discount from 20 percent to 50 percent; and allow no-show fees in lieu of deposits for reservations.

A public comment period will take place during the summer of 2013 and any change in fares will start Oct. 1.

Ferry officials will be at the Clinton Progressive Hall Wednesday, June 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. The agenda includes the fee structure.

 

More in News

Critics reignite issues with The Machine Shop in Langley

Patience is wearing thin among some of The Machine Shop’s critics. Three… Continue reading

Man who burned down two homes pleads guilty to lesser charge

A man who started a fire that burned down two homes on… Continue reading

Historical society to lead presentation about Gabelein family history

Pick up a local phone book. Thumb to the page with the… Continue reading

Van driver accused of ramming pickup truck

The driver of a van is accused of chasing down a car… Continue reading

South End getting first drug treatment center

Freeland will soon be home to the first medicaid-funded substance use disorder… Continue reading

Langley man airlifted after rollover crash

A Langley resident was airlifted for treatment after rolling his 1995 Ford… Continue reading

Knox Shannon, 8, looks out the window of his new bedroom in the house built by Habitat for Humanity. Island County is set to implement fee changes that would result in savings for the organization, and other developers, in the plan review stage of receiving building permits. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/ Whidbey News-Times
New building permit fees should reduce costs in county

The Board of Island County Commissioners is set to vote on building… Continue reading

Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
                                The Kettles trails were acquired by Island County in 1996 using funds from the conservation futures program. The county is now accepting applications for the 2018 award cycle, but a low fund balance may limit the acceptance of new projects.
No guarantees for awarding of conservation futures funds

The Island County Conservation Futures Program is now accepting applications from eligible… Continue reading

No injuries in pair of crashes

Two car crashes on Wednesday in Clinton did not result in any… Continue reading

Most Read