Travel alert: Washington ferry prices have gone up amid wave of riders

May 2, 2024, 1:10 PM | Updated: 2:30 pm

Photo: A Washington State ferry pulls up to the dock on March 29, 2020 in Edmonds, Washington....

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

(Photo: Karen Ducey, Getty Images)

Planning a local getaway? Visiting family who live on the islands? Your Washington ferry ride could cost you more as prices keep climbing.

On Tuesday, prices for roundtrips went up nearly $10. A roundtrip from Edmonds to Kingston now costs a couple with a standard car: $54.35. The price is the same for a roundtrip between Bremerton and Seattle.

Inslee on Washington ferries: ‘We’re going as fast as humanly possible’ getting ferry boats in the water

Washington State Ferries (WSF) attributed the price increase to keeping up with the influx of spring and summer travelers, according to The Everett Herald. Riders can also expect longer wait times, around an hour or two, as the warmer weather entices people to take trips.

However, according to The Everett Herald, the surcharge was not added to multi-ride or passenger rates. An adult walk-on ticket costs $9.85 and a senior ticket costs $4.90. Children 18 and under are free.

For those heading from Mukilteo to Clinton who don’t want to pay the extra $3 for a one-way trip, The Everett Herald recommended taking the scenic route and driving through Deception Pass.

To plan the cost of your trip, visit WSDOT’s fare calculator. To pay for your trip, WSF recommends getting an ORCA card. ORCA cards can be bought online on ORCA’s website, or in person at various transit locations. However, VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards are also accepted alongside cash, traveler’s checks and business account charge cards.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), most ferries are loaded on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, travelers are highly recommended to reserve their car spot for the Port Townsend/Coupeville and Anacortes/San Juan Island routes. Walk-ons and smaller vehicles like motorcycles cannot be reserved.

Travelers can also see how many car spaces are available, in real-time, at each terminal via WSDOT’s live tracker found on the department’s website. They can also keep up with ferry wait times on WSDOT’s website.

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While prices will go back down after the summer, an overall 4.25% fare increase will start on Oct. 1, according to the Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC).

This will bring prices up by 50 cents to $1. To see a more detailed list of how fares on each ferry will be affected, visit this PDF from the WSTC.

Julia Dallas is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read her stories here. Follow Julia on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email her here.

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