Even during the slow winter months, ferries serving the San Juans continue to experience frequent delays. The alerts sent out by WSF almost always cite as the cause “due to loading/offloading delays caused by heavy vehicle traffic.” This can only mean that (1) the published WSF schedule is unrealistic and often cannot be met, and/or (2) vessel crews and terminal staff are insufficiently trained in loading and unloading the boats so as to maintain on-time performance.
Given the low frequency of service (five or six trips per day) between the islands and Anacortes, we need reasonable levels of on-time performance; unlike down sound routes, we do not enjoy the luxury of half-hourly or even hourly service. Either WSF should determine just why these delay conditions persist, or the schedule may need to be adjusted to remove stops on various trips.
Robert S. Distler