MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Single bike left on state ferry results in $17K in expenditures

Apr 9, 2018, 9:50 AM

Fauntleroy ferry...

(File, Associated Press)

(File, Associated Press)

One abandoned bicycle on a Washington State Ferry can drain resources and cost thousands.

RELATED: Seattle experiments with bikeshare parking stalls

Less than a week ago, a rideshare bike left on a ferry resulted in helicopter and crews costs of at least $17,000, the U.S. Coast Guard reports.

When a bicycle is left on a ferry, the vessel’s personnel and Coast Guard are required to treat it as a “distress situation.” It can take hours to verify there isn’t a missing person.

“This wastes tens of thousands of tax-payer dollars and could impact the response to an actual distress situation,” according to the Coast Guard.

Twelve bicycles were left on Washington State ferries in the past 18 months. Three of those were rideshare bikes.

“The Washington State Ferry system is a valuable local resource that provides a great benefit to the area by facilitating transportation and reducing commuter congestion,” said Capt. Linda Sturgis, commander, Sector Puget Sound. “However, when bicycles are left behind on a ferry, the Coast Guard assumes the worst and searches in the event the bicycle operator may have fallen overboard. We join the Washington State Ferry system in requesting that bike-share users not bring rented bicycles on board the ferries, instead leaving the bicycle at the pier and boarding as a walk-on passenger. For all passengers, we request you leave with the bikes you bring onboard.”

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Single bike left on state ferry results in $17K in expenditures