Kitsap Transit reveals details of Kingston ferry service

Regular service set to begin Nov. 26

Kitsap Transit unveiled specifics surrounding the arrival of passenger-only ferry service between Kingston and Seattle during a series of community information sessions at Kingston’s Village Green Community Center Saturday.

Regular weekday service for M/V Finest, Kitsap Transit’s new passenger-only ferry, will begin Nov. 26 with six round-trip crossings scheduled Monday through Friday (there will not be any Saturday service during the winter). As for ticket prices, eastbound fare will be $2 and westbound will be $10. Monthly fast ferry passes will cost $168 and a monthly pass for bus and ferry service will be $196. Reduced fare options are available to those who qualify, which will reduce all rates by half.

Additionally, Kitsap Transit’s executive director, John Clauson, said the ferry service will be holding a Finest Friday event on Nov. 23 which will see fare-free travel for those hoping to head to Seattle for some black Friday shopping.

“If you guys are not working on that day… come on down and take a ride,” Clauson said. “You can go over there and look at what you want to buy and come back over here and buy it, spend your money in Kitsap County.”

Clauson also said that two new bus routes will begin service the same day as M/V Finest. Route 301 will run from the North Viking Transit Center in Poulsbo, to the Kingston ferry terminal and Route 302 will run from the Suquamish Clearwater Casino, through Indianola and Kingston before arriving at the terminal. Clauson also said that a “demand responsive service” will begin which will see smaller transit buses sent to specific locations not currently served by regular transit service. Those seeking such service will need to call 24 hours in advance but it is possible to schedule recurring pickups with a single call.

The $5.6 million M/V Finest will be capable of carrying 250 passengers and 16 bicycles on each of its 39 minute crossings, however Clauson said with additional crew, the vessel was capable of carrying 350 passengers. The Finest’s backup boat, Melissa Ann, will be capable of carrying 172 passengers and 18 bicycles and can make the crossing in 39 minutes as well.

Weekday departure times for the ferry service leaving Kingston will be at:

5:25 a.m.

7:05 a.m.

8:45 a.m.

2:35 p.m.

4:15 p.m.

5:55 p.m.

Weekday departure times for the ferry service leaving Seattle will be at:

6:15 a.m.

7:55 a.m.

9:35 a.m.

3:25 p.m.

5:05 p.m.

6:45 p.m.

A grand opening event will be held on Nov. 19 at the Kingston terminal. Clauson said members of the public would be welcome to come aboard and get familiar with the new ferry. An evening sailing will also take place as well.

Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter with Kitsap News Group. Nick can be reached at ntwietmeyer@soundpublishing.com

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