Ferry fares to rise starting Oct. 1 this year — and again in 2018

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The Washington State Transportation Commission has approved a series of two ferry fare increases that will be implemented over the next two years.

According to a commission announcement, changes were made to its original proposal in response to public input, which resulted in benefits to passengers and bicyclists.

The commission is required to ensure ferry fares generate $381 million in operating revenue between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2019, as required in the recently passed two-year state transportation budget for Washington State Ferry operations.

In response to public concerns about passenger fares and bicycles with trailers, the commission reduced the passenger fare increase in 2017 from 2.5 percent, to 2.1 percent. It also applied a fare increase to bikes towing a kayak or canoe; this does not change the fare for bicyclists towing other types of trailers.

The final ferry fare adjustments adopted by the commission will take effect as follows:
October 1, 2017
-2.9 percent fare increase for small and standard sized vehicles
-0.8 percent to 1.8 percent fare increase for oversized vehicles (22 feet and longer), depending on vehicle size
-2.1 percent fare increase for passengers

Passengers who bring bicycles towing kayaks or canoes will pay the motorcycle/ stowage fare. All other bicyclists towing items other than a kayak or canoe would continue to pay the same fare as today (bicycle surcharge plus the passenger fare).

October 1, 2018
-2.5 percent fare increase for small and standard sized vehicles
No fare increase for oversized vehicles (22 feet and longer)
-2.1 percent fare increase for passengers
– School Group passengers fare will increase from $1 per group for a one-way trip to $5 per group for a one-way trip

For more information on the commission, and its ferry fare proposal and fare setting process, visit the transportation commission’s website: www.wstc.wa.gov

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