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State Transportation Committee proposes ferry fare change

A Washington State ferry pulls up to the dock on March 29, 2020, in Edmonds, Washington. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

The Washington State Transportation Commission is proposing a 2.5% ferry fare increase this year and next year that would apply to all routes, passengers, and vehicles.

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The new fares would take effect in October of this year, and in October 2022, if approved later this summer. The public now has the opportunity to comment on the plan.

Ray Deardorf with Washington State Ferries says fares need to go up to keep the service afloat.

“COVID has just thrown all of our forecasting models into a tizzy,” Deardorf said.

The transportation commission had also been looking at a plan that would increase the fares for cars by over 3% in the first year, while not increasing the rate for walk-on passengers. But commission members like Debbie Young didn’t think that was right.

“There’s a high likelihood that previous walk-on riders are going to take advantage of opportunities to work from home or requirements to work from home and not return robustly in the near future, regardless of a fare incentive,” Young said.

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Following a public comment period on the proposed fare increase, a final decision is expected in August. Submit a comment online here until July 30, or by email to [email protected]

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