PORT ORCHARD — With the fall 2019 Washington State Ferries sailing schedule taking effect on Sunday, Sept. 29, the 90-vehicle vessel Sealth will substitute for the 124-vehicle Kittitas on the Triangle route, which will be undergoing maintenance at the start of the schedule.
The Sealth also is to undergo a U.S. Coast Guard’mandated inspection by Nov. 2, necessitating the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route to operate on a two-boat schedule during the last week of October, according to the ferry system.
Hadley Rodero, a WSF spokesman, said a number of factors were involved in the agency’s decisions regarding vessel assignments and service impacts.
“With only 22 boats in the fleet and one designated service relief vessel, vessel assignments and maintenance periods are subject to change,” Rodero said.
He said WSF’s customer service team will send out alerts with the latest information and will provide customers with updates as needed. Customers are encouraged to sign up for WSF’s rider alerts and texts, he said.
“Our hope is that by sharing information early, ferry riders will be able to plan ahead and adjust their travel accordingly,” Rodero said. “We understand the impacts these reductions in service have on our passengers and we appreciate your patience and understanding while we complete necessary maintenance and inspections on our ferries.”
The WSF spokesman said the new triangle route schedule that began in March is working well. “We’re able to more fully fill vessels leaving Fauntleroy in the afternoon and over the past months,” he said. “Our on-time performance has steadily improved.”
Rodero said over the next few months, WSF will begin planning the environmental process for the replacement of the Fauntleroy Ferry terminal. He said the project’s process will include “robust” community outreach and opportunities for customers and residents to provide input.
Construction of the new terminal is expected to begin during the 2025-2027 timeframe.