Editor’s note: The ferry situation is changing daily. The story below reflects the most current information at press time. Visit https://wsdot.com/Ferries/Schedule/scheduledetailbyroute.aspx?schedrouteid=2070&route=ana-sj-sid for the current schedule and updates.
The Washington State Ferry system undergoes more changes as it returns to the regular schedule during a two-week trial period. This trial period started on Nov. 19, and does not include a reservation system.
The chair of the San Juan Island Ferry Advisory Committee, Jim Corenman, said that although they are excited to transition back to normal, they want to be cautious and make it clear that this is only a trial period for now. “We want to avoid the whiplash associated with flopping back and forth between a regular service schedule and an alternate schedule,” he said. “Folks can’t plan if they don’t know when the ferries are going to sail.”
Corenman said he heard of this news last minute after receiving an email from WSF on Nov. 18 informing staff of changes taking place the following day Nov. 19.
The press release read, “Because crewing remains challenging, during the trial period we won’t resume reservations, so passengers will continue traveling on a first-come, first-served, basis. If, after a trial of at least two weeks we’re able to reliably operate all four vessels, we’ll restore the Anacortes/San Juan Islands reservations system.”
Within these two weeks, if WSF finds they cannot reliably operate on the regular schedule, they will transition to a new three-boat schedule addressing gaps in current service to Lopez and Shaw Islands, along with creating a new reservation system to go along with the schedule.
Currently, as for any other questions, Communication Director Ian Sterling is on a leave. Those seeking more clarification regarding WSF changes can reach Deputy Communications Director Dana Warr at 206-719-6819 or at email@example.com.
“We are all anxious to see regular service restored and also for reservations to be re-opened,” Corenman said.