ferry fares

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Starting today, it’s going to cost you more to commute by ferry in and around the Puget Sound—unless you have a small car.

Walk-on ferry passengers will pay 15 cents more to sail from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. Passenger fares are going up 2 percent are vehicle fares are increasing by 3 percent to help the ferry system meet its revenue target.

But for those who drive onto the ferry, it pays to have a small car. Cars shorter than 14 feet will receive a discount.

Tom Banse

Fares on Washington state ferries are going up again.

On Tuesday, the Washington State Transportation Commission approved a two-stage increase. The fare increases are designed to meet a $328 million revenue target set by the state Legislature.

State Ferries Director David Moseley says the fare hike will mostly just maintain the status quo.

The state Transportation Commission is holding five public hearings on proposed increases in ferry fares.

The first is Monday on board the San Juan Islands inter-island ferry. Others will be Wednesday in Coupeville, Thursday at Vashon Island, July 15 at Bainbridge Island and July 16 at Port Orchard.

thetruthaboutcars.com

An Olympia budget problem:

  • Washington's roads need repair and improvements.
  • Gas tax revenues are way down because people are driving less and driving more fuel-efficient cars.
  • State voters have made it clear they don't want higher taxes.

What's a lawmaker to do?

Democratic budget writers in the Legislature hoping to plug a $5 billion deficit are proposing to raise a slew of fees on everything from getting a drivers license to riding a ferry. 

They say they're just trying to bring fees -- many of which haven't been raised in years -- in line with current costs. But skeptical Republicans are cool to the proposal.