State ferries on summer schedule; times change on Edmonds-Kingston route

Posted 6/20/10

Washington State Ferries began its summer schedule on June 20 and here are the key reminders for Olympic Peninsula residents and visitors: Get a reservation to be on the Port Townsend-Keystone route, …

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State ferries on summer schedule; times change on Edmonds-Kingston route

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Washington State Ferries began its summer schedule on June 20 and here are the key reminders for Olympic Peninsula residents and visitors: Get a reservation to be on the Port Townsend-Keystone route, and be aware that sailing times have changed on the Edmonds-Kingston route.

The Edmonds-Kingston route carries more traffic than any other WSF route, and is the primary route for people coming to and from the Olympic Peninsula. Commuters and other regular customers should note many five- to 10-minute adjustments to sailing times. These changes were made to improve schedule reliability, meet transit connections, and adhere to U.S. Coast Guard crew endurance requirements, according to WSF. Some of the problem comes from the trains that cross in front of the Edmonds terminal.

Wallet-size schedule cards for the Edmonds/Kingston route are available on the vessels and at the terminals. Several sailings have been eliminated on certain days so regular users should check the new schedule instead of relying on memory.

When lines get long at the Kingston terminal on Sunday afternoons (which happened June 20) the tally system is activated. The tally system means that vehicles in line receive at Lindvog Road a slip of paper from the Washington State Patrol to show that they have not cut in line. If a person arrives at the ticket booth without the tally slip, entrance is denied.

The summer schedule does not add any sailings on the Port Townsend-Keystone route: there are still 10 sailings in each direction per day. The last sailing out of PT is 8:30 p.m. and the last sailing from Keystone is 9:15 p.m. The new ferry M/V Chetzemoka starts on the run by September and it carry 15 more vehicles than the M/V Steilacoom.

Reservations are advised for people using the PT-Keystone route. Reservations were full in both directions on June 19 and 20 and getting one of the few standby spaces available means arriving 60 to 90 minutes prior to departure. Go online for reservations at business.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/reservations/

The Anacortes-San Juan Islands route has an additional vessel and increased hours of service. Customers should note a change from the printed schedule: the 5:50 a.m. sailing from Friday Harbor will stop at Lopez Island at about 6:25 a.m. and load Anacortes-bound traffic. This Lopez stop was added after the schedule went to print, in response to customer feedback.

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