Letters to the Editor

Ferry service found frustrating

I am sure I am not alone in my concern and displeasure with the lack of ferry service between Keystone and Port Townsend during peak travel times in the “off season.”

Despite the fact that I left home an hour early to catch the 12 o’clock ferry on Saturday, Nov. 26, I found myself having to wait for the 1:30 ferry (which ran late because of the heavy traffic load). I missed a family reunion in Bremerton which was from 1 to 3 p.m. I arrived there at 3:20 after everyone had left. I had erroneously assumed that the bulk of the Thanksgiving holiday traffic would be on Sunday and Monday; however, the Port Townsend lines waiting to get on the ferry to Keystone were equally as backed up.

More frustrating was the fact that the second (unused) ferry was docked in Port Townsend. I see no reason why during major holidays, when the ferries can pretty well be assured of a full load, the income generated would more than cover the additional staff and fuel costs. What’s even more frustrating is that this was also a month of peak cancellations due to tides. Wouldn’t it still be cheaper to run two ferries during the reduced operating hours, as in the summer season?

There are 19 cancellations during the month of December with only 4 added runs. There are only 10 scheduled runs a day, assuming there are no tidal or high wind cancellations.

The ferry route is considered part of State Route 20. It is heavily traveled which should make it a priority route. To have reached Bremerton via SR20 to I-5 to Tacoma and Route 16 to my destination would have been 167 miles with a 3 hour, 34 minute travel time (the same amount of time it took my sister-in-law to reach Bremerton from south of Portland). Ridiculous. What can “we” do?

Ann Wilson


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