An urgent word to interisland ferry users from the San Juan's Ferry Advisory Committee

On July 14 at 9 a.m. the San Juans Ferry Advisory Committee issued this statement:

Inter-island Traffic Alert:

With Sunday's arrival of the Hiyu, vehicle capacity on inter-island sailings will drop from the roughly 60 spaces available on the Illahee to about 30 spaces. Passenger capacity drops from more than 600 to 200. Both could be problems during the week Washington State Ferries says the Hiyu will be on the inter-island run.

The message from the county Ferry Advisory Committee is simply this: If you don't have to make an inter-island trip while the Hiyu is up here -- especially between Friday Harbor and Orcas -- don't.

Data gathered by the committee from terminal agents show the Hiyu will be overloaded on every sailing except the first one out of Friday Harbor each weekday. The wait between boats, as you all know, runs about three hours.

WSF has dropped the restrictions on inter-island vehicle traffic on boats out of Anacortes to try to soften the impact of the Hiyu, but that will provide little or no relief for travel between Orcas and Friday Harbor because only the afternoon international boat makes that connection in the summer.

The best response to this significant cut in capacity is to avoid inter-island travel if you possibly can until a boat that can handle the summer capacity returns to the route.

Your San Juan County Ferry Advisory Committee

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