Transportation budget would invest in Washington ferry system

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A supplemental transportation budget passed by the state Senate on Feb. 23 would make a large investment in Washington’s ferry system, particularly in the 34th District. The House’s supplemental transportation budget proposal also includes this funding.

“Our ferries are a key part of life in the 34th district, and serve as many of our constituents’ connection to the rest of the Puget Sound region,” said Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island. “It’s vital that this system works properly and efficiently.”

A $25,000 investment would provide additional uniformed, commissioned officer presence to the ferry system in order to help with traffic control during the peak season.

A $75,000 investment would fund a study of how to improve loading procedure at the Fauntleroy dock in West Seattle. The study would be conducted by the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington.

“I appreciate Sen. Nelson, Rep. Fitzgibbon, Rep. Cody and Transportation chairs Sen. Steve Hobbs and Rep. Judy Clibborn funding both a study of how to better process vehicles at the Fauntleroy Terminal and additional hours for police officers to direct traffic at the dock,” said Amy Scarton, assistant secretary of ferries for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “The study presents a real opportunity to add to the work of Washington State Ferries staff and the citizen led Triangle Task Force. I’m excited to see what the researchers find.  As we continue our work, I’m hopeful it will address the challenge of modern traffic at this 1950s era terminal.”

“We have heard so much from constituents from Vashon and Fauntleroy about the challenges loading ferries at the Fauntleroy dock,” Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-West Seattle. “I am pleased to see these new investments championed by Sen. Nelson moving forward so we can continue to make incremental progress in improving loading procedures in Fauntleroy and help our constituents get where they need to go.”

“I’m glad to see that this supplemental budget improves the traffic loading onto and disembarking from ferries,” said Rep. Eileen Cody, D-West Seattle. “I hope this leads to better options to get people through the ferry process faster and on with their day.”