Ferry fare changes coming: Transportation Commission seeks public input

(OLYMPIA)– The Washington State Transportation Commission has kicked off its ferry fare-setting process for 2023-2025, with an online survey and virtual community meetings for people to learn more and provide comments.

The ferry fare revenue requirement set by the Legislature in the recently passed 2023-2025 Transportation Budget is $418.6 million, according to a news release from the WSTC. The commission will determine how to meet that expectation in the coming months and wants to hear from the public along the way.

An online survey is open until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 9, and allows participants to share opinions on different fare adjustment options. Survey results will help inform how passenger, vehicle and peak season fares could be adjusted to meet the updated revenue requirements. The public can also provide input to the commission via email at transc@wstc.wa.gov.

Also, Washington State Ferries is hosting six virtual route-specific public meetings focused on service restoration as well as proposed fare changes. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions during the meeting and written public comment will also be accepted. The meetings begin May 23 and run through June 7, and pre-registration is required.

The commission will select a fare proposal at its Wednesday, June 21, meeting in Friday Harbor, and members of the public can attend the meeting in person or virtually to offer comment. Further opportunities for public comment will be offered on the fare proposal through Sunday, July 30, and an in-person hearing to adopt fare changes will be held on Thursday, Aug. 10, at 9 a.m. at the Puget Sound Regional Council Board Room, 1011 Western Ave., Suite 500, Seattle. Virtual attendance will be available.