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Washington State Ferries are free for youth riders starting Saturday

Sep 29, 2022, 6:13 PM | Updated: Sep 30, 2022, 11:08 am
Ferry in Puget Sound, Seattle, Washington, United States. (Photo by: Insights/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
(Photo by: Insights/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Anyone under the age of 19 can ride Washington State Ferries for free starting Saturday. It’s a result of the Move Ahead Washington transportation package.

“Youth can ride for free. However, if you are, let’s say, 16 and have a legal driver’s license and are behind the wheel of a vehicle, you will continue to pay the adult vehicle and driver fare,” Ferries spokesperson Dana Warr told KIRO Newsradio.

Whatcom County’s Lummi Island is getting a new ferry

Warr also stated if you are a youth passenger in a vehicle, the fee does not apply.

Because of this recent change, kids and teens can now grab a free ticket from a terminal employee by showing an ID or an Orca Card, which will be available for up to two hours.

Warr reminds us that ferries are running on their fall schedule and prices have changed.

Move Ahead Washington is a nearly $17 billion transportation package to tackle major projects throughout the state over the next 16 years.  

“We said when this package was announced that it was a first draft, and now we’ve passed a package that incorporates the feedback we’ve received over the last month,” said Sen. Marko Liias (D – Everett). “We’re investing in projects from rural to urban areas across our state, letting kids ride free on our buses, ferries, and trains, and so much more — and all without punting the cost to working families.” 

Liias was one of the major sponsors of the proposal, alongside Rep. Jake Fey (D – Tacoma).

Alongside free fares for passengers 18 and younger on all public transportation — including state ferries — the plan will use approximately $5.4 billion toward carbon reduction and multimodal expansion, $3 billion for maintenance and preservation, and another $3 billion for public transportation.  

$836 million will be used to build four new hybrid-electric ferries, according to Move Ahead Washington. 

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Washington State Ferries are free for youth riders starting Saturday