OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Ferry fares in Washington state will increase 2.5% in October.
The Washington State Transportation Commission approved the increase for walk-on passengers and vehicle fares that will occur this year and again in 2022, KING5 reported.
The increase is based on the transportation budget passed by the 2021 legislature that requires $377 million to be generated from fares over the next two years.
“We really felt that right now, when you look at the ridership, it’s still being largely dominated by vehicle travel,” said Reema Griffith, executive director of the Washington State Transportation Commission. “And with the instability of the COVID recovery, they felt this was the first time actually in many years that they decided to do a 2.5% on both passengers and vehicles.”
The state’s transportation budget took a hit during the pandemic. Now the state has to catch up, which will make many commutes more expensive as people return to work.
Griffith says 75% of ferry operations funds come from fares while the other 25% from gas tax money.