OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The state Transportation Commission has recommended an across-the-board fare increase to cover the costs of Washington State Ferries for the next two years.
Fares for vehicles and walk-ons would rise 2.5% on Oct. 1 and another 2.5% on Oct. 1, 2022, under the proposal endorsed unanimously by the commission’s seven citizen members, the Daily Herald reported.
The change would add about 40 cents each year to a one-way vehicle fare on the Edmonds-Kingston route and a little less than that for the Mukilteo-Clinton route. It would increase prices for vehicle passengers and walk-ons by about 20 cents each year.
Commissioners also considered a second option to boost vehicle fares by 3.1% this fall and freeze fares for walk-ons. Then, next year, all fares would go up 2.5%. In the end, the panel chose the approach that spreads the financial impact.
State lawmakers and Gov. Jay Inslee approved a new two-year state transportation budget requiring the ferry system come up with $9.2 million in additional operating revenue in the 2021-23 biennium. The way to do that is with higher fares.
Commissioners will review comments before taking final action at their Aug. 10 meeting.