King County Ferry District assumes cost of Vashon Island passenger-only service July 1

County forms taxing district to provide passenger-only ferry service

On June 26, the Ferries Division of Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) sent out the following news release

Beginning July 1, the new King County Ferry District will assume the cost of providing passenger-only ferry service between downtown Seattle and Vashon Island. This is the first step towards the ferry district taking over full operation of this route. Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Ferries Division will continue to operate the route until July 2009.

“We are working closely with the King County Ferry District for a seamless transition,” said David Moseley, Chief of Ferries. “We do not expect any fare or schedule changes this year.”

From July 2008 through June 2009, WSDOT will operate Seattle/Vashon Island passenger-only service at current levels and the service will be fully funded by the King County Ferry District. The ferry district will assume operation of the route beginning July 1, 2009, using King County crews. The service will continue to operate out of Pier 50.

The Metropolitan King County Council created the King County Ferry District in 2007 to expand waterborne transit options for county residents. In addition to the Seattle/Vashon Island passenger-only ferry, the district now oversees operation of the Elliott Bay Water Taxi which runs between West Seattle and Pier 55 in downtown Seattle.

In 2003, the state Legislature authorized counties to create local ferry districts whose sole source of revenue is a property tax assessment. In 2006, the Legislature then voted to end state funding for passenger-only ferries on June 30, 2007. The Legislature agreed to extend the Vashon service if King County would assume financial responsibility for the Vashon passenger-only ferry by July 1, 2008 and assume full operation of the route by July 2009.

For more information about the King County Ferry District, visit For complete schedule and fare information visit