Second ferry won’t return to Port Townsend route

Posted 6/23/21

The Port Townsend-Coupeville ferry route will remain with one-boat service “ for the foreseeable future,” according to Washington State Ferries.

WSF had announced in April that a …

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Second ferry won’t return to Port Townsend route


The Port Townsend-Coupeville ferry route will remain with one-boat service “ for the foreseeable future,” according to Washington State Ferries.

WSF had announced in April that a second ferry wouldn’t be added to the route for the peak tourist season, and said it was extending the winter sailing schedule for all ferry routes through June 20.

In an email Tuesday, WSF Government Relations Director John B. Vezina said the route would remain with just one boat.

Vezina noted the loss of the ferry M/V Wenatchee after a fire earlier his year aboard the boat, which took one of the ferry system’s three largest vessels out of service for several months.

That caused ripple effects across the system, Vezina said in his email Tuesday, but he added that the biggest problem now was the number of crew members available for sailings.

“Over the last couple of days, we have had to cancel sailings on several routes due to the lack of available crewing, leading us to the frustrating conclusion we do not have the capacity to add a second vessel to the Port Townsend-Coupeville route for the foreseeable future,” Vezina wrote.

“While we won’t experience this continued service reduction in the same way you and your constituents will,” he said in his email to local officials, “we understand its serious repercussions on businesses, vacationers, and local residents.”

“We have looked at every option, but as we aren’t able to consistently provide even our current service, it would be irresponsible to try to expand it further, knowing we couldn’t reliably crew the second vessel, leading to even more frustration,” Vezina added.

In one bright spot for Port Townsend’s tourist-dependent economy, Vezina said WSF is looking at restoring the last round-trip sailings on the Port Townsend-Coupeville route.

The feasibility of restoring those sailings are currently being studied, he said.

“I will keep you informed of our progress and let you know if there are any changes in circumstances allowing the last round-trips to be restored,” he said.

Vezina said he realized the announcement of the lack of a second boat on the route would not be welcome news.

“I understand this isn’t the news you, or the residents of your respective communities were looking for — it’s certainly not what we’d planned when we pushed the resumption of two-boat service to this weekend,” he said.

WSF publicly announced the fate of the second ferry on the Port Townsend route Wednesday morning.

“We looked at every option, but as we’re unable to consistently provide even our current service due to a shortage of crews, adding service would mean additional cancellations. We're hiring as qualified candidates are located and working with our labor partners on these challenges,” WSF said in its announcement.

“Thank you for your patience while we navigate this challenging time.”


3 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • !LovelyPTWa#49

    How many shops downtown will be forced to close permanently at this rate? Why doesn't anyone want to work anymore?

    So sad.

    Thursday, June 24, 2021 Report this

  • Dage Corvish

    Why doesn't anyone want to pay more taxes to upgrade and operate critical infrastructure?

    Thursday, June 24, 2021 Report this

  • HarveyW

    If you are worrying about shops closing, look at a bigger picture. Ferries will impact visitors from the direction of Whidbey, and perhaps more people adjusting plans that would pass through PT and on to Whidbey and points beyond.

    A second factor which is the totally manufactured third rail in town is lost business access due to any parking planning and education. And enforcement, as a last resort. This has gone on for 7 long years. I am in business here 25 years. I speak in person with thousands of visitors from near and far yearly. The Appointed Mayor and City Council do not. This once was a better run town.

    It seems the official spin, party line, script or propaganda is that enforcing parking harms business and does not let people wander leisurely. The official spin, party line script or propaganda is a lie. A big lie. It benefits the real estate industry. Development and condo sales not needing to consider parking.

    The 3 time Appointed Mayor is a realtor with her own parking lot perched on the edge of her manufactured parking chaos. Many businesses need turn over for access. Insurance companies, banks, real estate offices, my business that serves locals and visitors, accountants, and even eateries (a two hour meal is very reasonable, educate on other options). 7 years of conditioning with the Big Lie eliminates critical thinking on the subject.

    This person, who is so annoying as to be attacked last week by 2 people in comments, warned of passing time making a solution all the more difficult. Attackers can't pick one aspect of what I say and make counter points.

    The official spin, party line script or propaganda has one flaw.

    Say it again. Visitors are only given posted 2 hour signage.

    They have no clue that a hidden benefit is there for insiders. This is a simple fact. I can provide the name of a customer last week who commented to their partner about moving to an all day lot at a cost of $10. Should I tell them at worst a ticket is $15? Should I tell them that I have seen no tickets or any education, planning, or enforcement since John Mauro took over as City Manager, vetted by the Appointed Mayor? And many years prior under Timmons? Now doing his magic at Fort Worden for $140,000 per year? The city corruption bleeds into the property of All of the People of the State.

    Should I treat guests like chumps and fools? The City, Main Street, Chamber, and unavoidably the police do. For 7 long years. Tens of thousands of chumps and fools.

    The Big Lie. 3 time Appointed Mayor, 20 year Council Member Michelle Sandoval's and lock step Council's Big Lie. It damages so many in so many ways. A polite and real culture is destroyed. Managed now by the likes of Main Street. A city tool. Me first. Big Lie.

    Now the Port and Maritime Center plan a new structure without considering why the soon to be eliminated lot was not used more. Free illegal parking that damages in countless ways is why. Will there be an impact SEPA done by the City? The City that caused the lot not to be used? More parking chaos at that end of town. It will bleed into all areas.

    The big lie just keeps on giving . Or taking.

    The City Council just approved continuing with taking more parking for outside dining and pickup. I fully support all business in PT. There is no mitigation of the eliminated parking which is on top of the already purposefully ignored problem that damages business access during key times. Main Street is the tool.

    The spin, party line script or propaganda, is that there is no problem. I witness and speak with people all the time. There are many days many complain about access and full parking. I know dozens of locals who stay away due to lack of parking during busy times. This is a fact. Not an official spin, party line script or propaganda.

    Mitigation is absent. Exacerbation is the norm. Definition of exacerbation- the process of making a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling worse.

    Of course it is not just parking, Cherry Street, 17 million in City debt, the no public input 1.2 million dollar visitor center park with $600,000 still to pay, failing and ignored streets and roads, and more that other silent victims could add. Silent victims are key. Poor reading comprehension by many and those chimps willing to fling feces at me for "foaming at the mouth rants" like this are key.

    The Big Lie paints as Jackboot Police State any Fair Parking Facilitation comprised of 1) education my Main Street, City and Chamber that taking public parking by residents and workers harms everyone. 2) On the street friendly volunteers to give info on parking options and rules. 3) Those volunteers able to write tickets to the most greedy among us, tickets with a tiered structure that grows with offences, and a meaningful amount in the first place. The Big Lie will paint this as a "Jackboot Police State', as the head of a Jackboot Police State profits status quo.

    Too bad about the Ferries. Too bad about parking which is a manufactured problem. Who benefits? Who does not plan much of anything well? Who will be given some kind of award by the Status Quo when she finally steps aside after vetting John Mauro to see, hear, and speak no evil?

    I didn't come here to pick fights. The fight came to my front door. The Big Lie says the problem is me. Arm yourselves chimps. Take aim. It sticks to your hands. And Sandoval's, Mauro's, and Main Streets, and Chambers.

    Don't rock the boat. It has had a slow leak for years. Someone punched a hole in the hull. Too bad about the Ferries. There are things we can do something about. Now its a long road back. By design. End of "rant".

    Thursday, June 24, 2021 Report this