Grand opening on Kingston to Seattle fast ferry
Local dignitaries had the chance to cruise around the Puget Sound on the new Kingston to Seattle passenger-only fast ferry on Monday, a full week before regular service begins.
The public will get a taste on a ceremonial sailing at 2 p.m. It’s unclear if the Bremerton Symphony will stick around for the afternoon sailing.
Grand Opening with Gov. Jay Inslee and Rep. Derek Kilmer pic.twitter.com/EhCZTlgnHK
— Kitsap Transit (@KitsapTransit) November 19, 2018
Washingtonians have always had a strong connection to the water. Today, I'm proud to help start the next chapter of our legacy by officially opening the fast ferry between Kingston & Seattle. It will cut time people spend commuting & connect more people to more opportunities! ⛴️ pic.twitter.com/b1v8AhzWkD
— Rep. Derek Kilmer (@RepDerekKilmer) November 19, 2018
Voters approved a proposition in November 2016 for a sales tax to support the passenger-only ferry service to Seattle from Bremerton, Kingston, and Southworth.
Kitsap Transit launched service from Bremerton to Seattle in July 2017, cutting the ride time in half as compared to the car ferry. The trip between Bremerton and Seattle is 28 minutes. The trip from Kingston to Seattle is expected to take 39 minutes.
Service between Bremerton and Seattle had a rocky start with multiple cancellations. The Rich Passage 1 boat had mechanical issues, according to the Kitsap Sun. And the reservation system was clunky, but Kitsap Transit expects a smoother start for Kingston.
Kitsap County is hoping this new service will enhance its image as an alternative to King County for people looking for cheaper housing and a quieter lifestyle.
Coldwell Banker Bain has said developers are excited for the ferry service and what it means for a reasonable commute to downtown Seattle. With Seattle’s median home price at $668,000, according to The Seattle Times, an average home for $334,000 in Kitsap County seems downright cheap.
In July, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent said the service is “going to mean more people living here, and jobs.”
Lent says in addition to providing new housing options for people who work in Seattle, the fast ferry service will help Bremerton attract new employers.
Service to Southworth will begin in 2020.