Motorist refusing to pay fare causes ferry back-ups

A motorist who failed to pay for a boarding pass Friday morning for the Clinton-to-Mukilteo ferry caused traffic back-ups and put the run behind schedule.

Washington State Ferries spokeswoman Hadley Rodero confirmed that both boats on the route fell about 40 minutes behind as a result of the incident.

“Right now, there is also a (traffic) back-up in Clinton,” she said early Friday morning.

The incident began shortly before the 7 a.m. sailing out of Mukilteo. Police said a man boarded the ferry without buying a ticket. He was confronted by ferry staff, but refused to pay the fare.

“To my knowledge, he wasn’t forceful or anything like that,” said Trooper Heather Axtman, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Patrol.

“He was just very vocal that he wasn’t going to pay.”

Ferry loading was halted until the incident was resolved.

Axtman said she did not yet know the outcome of the incident, only that there was one of two possible outcomes.

“He either paid for it (a ticket), or we removed him; those were his options,” she said.

Rodero said ferry service Friday was also disrupted on Central Whidbey, but not because of any unruly passengers.

Sailings on the Coupeville-to-Port Townsend route were canceled in the morning due to high winds.

Service resumed with the 9:30 a.m. sailing from Port Townsend.

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