Washington State Ferries’ recent remark that passenger-only boats are no longer economically feasible for the agency has put commuters in quite a quandary.
The announcement that runs to Vashon and Bremerton would be discontinued was expected but still came as a shock to many.
WSF is on slippery financial ground and as state and county officials have been back and forth on passenger-only boats in Kingston more times than a couple of hyper kids in a game of tug-o-war over the past few years, many watched to see who might fall first.
Just as WSF is set to topple, though Kitsap Transit is looking to take up its position.
This is the same agency that was brought to the brink by Initiative-695 and forced to cut way back on services. Now they want to get into the ferry business?
We’re not sure this is going to work out as well as everyone hopes. As WSF has shown us, there’s a lot more to the system than simply navigating a few boats across the water everyday. Mistakes at any level can cost millions and drive a wedge between the commuters and those who have set out to serve them.
Kitsap Transit is hoping to gain a foothold on a pretty slick slope. Passenger-only boats are money pits, according to WSF. But even so, they are a much-needed, very popular service.
Can KT save them and possibly expand service in the county? Despite these tough economic times, we feel they may. But it’s going take one heck of a yank.