King County has halted its water taxi service to and from West Seattle through the weekend, because of a worn-out metal pin at the westside Seacrest dock.
Service was suspended Wednesday night and is expected to resume Monday morning, said Metro Transit spokesperson Jeff Switzer.
A county transit alert said that an inspection at Seacrest found that one of the pins connecting the gangway to the shore is damaged, so trips were canceled “out of an abundance of caution.”
That pin, and a connecting metal plate, were rubbing against each other and wearing out, said Switzer. Those parts form a hinge at the top of the gangway.
Riders descend from a parking lot and walk down to water level to meet the boat. The wooden walkway rises and falls with the tide, and shimmies when waves hit the shoreline.
The Water Taxi shuttle buses 773 and 775, which move people between Elliott Bay and Alki, Admiral and Alaska Junction areas, will continue to operate. King County Metro suggests other transit to downtown, such as RapidRide C, or the Route 56 bus serving Admiral.
Elected officials this spring hailed better transit options as a way for travelers to cope with the emergency closure of the West Seattle Bridge, but demand hasn’t surged for either the water taxi or buses, which use the lower swing bridge.
Only 200 riders a day were boarding the West Seattle route in October, about a one-fifth of pre-pandemic ridership.
The county’s Vashon Island water taxis continue to operate, as do the separate Kitsap Transit foot ferries, which cruise downtown to the shared Pier 50 terminal.