State DOT News

WSF Weekly Update

Winter schedule extended through at least April 25

As part of the state’s response to COVID-19, all our ferries will remain operating on their winter sailing schedules  through at least April 25. We usually add service on several routes in late March to respond to increased ridership, but due to COVID-19 concerns, we don’t believe the additional service is needed at this time.


All common-touch areas on our ferries and terminals are being routinely cleaned, and workers, as well as all our customers, are reminded to practice good hygiene.

We know schedule changes affect many people and we don’t make these decisions lightly. But following discussions with health authorities and state officials we had to make this difficult decision in order to help slow the spread of the virus while still preserving some service options. Emergency medical services have been notified of the schedule changes and will continue to have priority boarding as the situation allows. Further adjustments are possible depending on ridership trends.

To all our customers coming on board, crewmembers are encouraging social distancing. There are several options for our riders to maintain a healthy amount of separation from fellow passengers:

  • Customers are encouraged stay in their vehicles if possible when they drive on the ferry.
  • Our boats are much larger vessels than most forms of transit, which gives passengers more opportunity to keep some distance between each other.
  • Restrooms with running water and hand soap are available on all vessels, unlike many other forms of public transit.

Our customers are also encouraged to sign up for email rider alerts, check our COVID-19 travel updates and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Customers encouraged to purchase tickets online

To better protect our customers and employees against the spread of COVID-19, we are encouraging all customers to purchase their tickets online. Pre-purchasing tickets minimizes the amount of contact and money exchange that needs to take place at tollbooths. To make it easier for customers to purchase tickets in advance, we have made all of our fares available online, including those that normally require in-person purchase and proof of eligibility. These include youth, senior and disabled fares.


To minimize the amount of contact and money exchange that needs to take place at our terminal, all of our fares are now also available at self-service kiosks.

Unfortunately, wireless or hands-free ticket scanning is not available at all of our terminals, so it would be very difficult for staff to completely avoid handling money or transit passes. Other times, the ticket may be positioned in a way that makes it difficult for a scanner to reach it. The CDC urges people to practice good personal hygiene, especially hand-washing and using hand sanitizer, as the best defense.

Amy Scarton
Assistant Secretary, WSDOT/Ferries Division

March 26, 2020

Rep. Rick Larsen tours new Mukilteo terminal

Congressman Rick Larsen toured our new Mukilteo terminal last week, seeing firsthand construction progress made since his last visit. Crews are currently at work on the passenger and maintenance buildings, holding lanes, toll plaza and the in-water berthing structures. In response to COVID-19, they have increased safety procedures to help keep workers safe.


We have strong federal and state backing for this new terminal and appreciate Rep. Larsen’s support of the project from its inception.

Haiku contest finalists

For anyone who has some extra time on their hands while staying home, check out our four #WSFHaiku finalists and vote for your favorite, or all of them! Thank you to State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna and local haiku poet Michael Dylan Welch for narrowing down close to 250 haiku cover contest submissions to these four:


Each poem is posted multiple times on our Twitter page. The haiku with the most combined “likes” at noon tomorrow, March 27, will be named the winner and featured on our Summer 2020 Sailing Schedule!


“I am (a) disabled passenger. […] What the ferry workers did was amazing. They parked our car in the center of the lanes so there was no car on either side. I was able to very easily get out of the car and be able to walk right to the elevator. Access the restroom and also be able to enjoy the upper deck. […] It was absolutely wonderful and so much safer. Thank you again.”

-Port Townsend/Coupeville customer

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