Olympia – A group of Puget Sound lawmakers is looking to ensure passenger-only ferries continue operating in the Puget Sound. Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien) is working with Rep. Drew Hansen (D-Bainbridge Island) and Sen. Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island) to keep passenger-only ferry service running through the renovation of the Colman Dock.
Washington State Ferries will begin work on the dock in 2015. The current plan may result in the removal of the slips at the dock that serve passenger-only ferry service connecting Vashon, Kingston, West Seattle, Bremerton, and downtown Seattle.
Fitzgibbon, a member of the House Transportation committee, worked with the committee chair, Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island), on a transportation budget proviso that would require Washington State Ferries to accommodate passenger-only service at the Colman Dock during and after the renovation.
“Legislators on both sides of Puget Sound agree that maintaining good connections between our state ferry system and other transportation modes is critical to mobility in our communities,” said Fitzgibbon. “This proviso will ensure that our state’s most important ferry terminal continues to connect with our passenger ferries and King County Metro buses.”
Budget provisos have the same effect as enacting a stand-alone bill into law. Both the House and Senate must agree on the language before it can go to the governor for approval. The Senate transportation budget does not include the passenger-only ferry requirement.