Submitted by Washington State Ferries
Until further notice, all state ferries will operate on their current reduced schedules with the option for phased service changes based on the COVID-19 recovery and several other factors.
“Given the constraints associated with our four pillars of service, we unfortunately cannot increase our number of sailings based on ridership alone,” said Amy Scarton, head of WSF. “As we enter what is normally our peak season, our priority as always is to provide service based on the safety of our passengers and crews.”
Any changes in service to Washington State Ferries’ current COVID Response Service Plan will be based on four metrics, all of which will be considered before any modifications are made on any route:
• Ridership – Recent system-wide numbers remain down more than 60% compared to this time last year.
• Crew availability – More than 150 crewmembers are either people who are at higher risk for severe illness or unavailable due to the pandemic.
• Vessel availability – There is a lack of boats available for service due to the maintenance shutdown earlier this year, combined with a continued reduction of U.S. Coast Guard inspection capacity.
• Funding – Washington State Department of Transportation is currently losing millions in revenue from the gas tax, state ferry farebox recovery, etc.
Vehicle reservations for June 21 through September 26
Vehicle reservations for June 21 through September 26 on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands and Port Townsend/Coupeville routes will be available online in the next week.
Customers can sign up for email alerts, check WSF’s COVID-19 travel updates and follow WSF on social media for notification on the exact date and time reservations will be released, along with any future changes in service.
Emergency medical services have been notified that the current schedules will remain in place indefinitely and will continue to have priority boarding as the situation allows.
Customers are strongly encouraged to ride a state ferry in a vehicle and remain in the vehicle throughout the sailing if possible. A face covering and proper physical distancing are highly recommended for all walk-on passengers.