Reserve a seat for your fast-ferry commute

BREMERTON — By the look of things, Kitsap Transit’s fast ferry route between Bremerton and Seattle is quickly becoming a favorite of cross-sound travelers during traditional commuting hours.

That’s clearly evident with a visit to the agency’s new online reservations system, introduced by Kitsap Transit on June 26. The Rich Passage 1 fast-ferry vessel will carry 118 passengers, but 88 seats are available for advance reservations through the online system.

A check of the reservation site at www.kitsaptransit.com/fast-ferry-reservations shows that the 6:50 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. weekday commute sailings are being snatched up by Bremerton-based residents who work in downtown Seattle. The first week of 6:50 a.m. sailings to Seattle — beginning Monday, July 10 — is sold out of advance tickets. The 5:15 p.m. return trip that week also is sold out, with the exception of a handful of seats on Friday, July 14.

The sailing at 6:15 a.m. Monday through Friday departing from Seattle is now open for reservations, according to Kitsap Transit spokesman Sanjay Bhatt. He said reservations are not being taken for Saturdays because they have satisfactory passenger and sailings that day.

In addition to seats that don’t end up being reserved in advance, 30 seats are being reserved for walk-up passengers each sailing.

“Those hoping to ride the fast ferry who did not reserve a seat should queue in the walk-up line or reserve a seat on the first sailing out of Bremerton at 5:40 a.m. or the last sailing out of Seattle at 6:25 p.m.,” Bhatt said.

While the reservation system is a boon for weekday commuters, they won’t be able to blanket a week’s worth of reserved seats. According to the Kitsap Transit website, users must make a round-trip reservation for each day of the week.

While your name will reserve a seat, payment is made as you board the boat. That will be the case beginning Aug. 1, when $2 in cash will be collected on the Bremerton side and $10 on the Seattle end. Those with reduced fare permits — typically seniors and disabled — will pay half that rate. Monthly fare rates are $168, or $84 for reduced fare.

The fast-ferry route will be free for passengers in July.

In addition to the online reservation system, commuters can visit the Bremerton Transportation Center’s customer service office or call 800-501-RIDE to reserve seats.

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