This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
Amid all this streetcar hubub, I’ve been remiss in not talking about the emerging crisis with respect to the Steel Electric ferries that service the Port Townsend-Keystone route. The 80-year-old ferries have been pulled from service and are unlikely to return.
The Everett Herald has been all over this story, and it seems like a pretty big screw-up at all levels. The state legislature approved replacements in 2001, but the replacements were too large to dock at Keystone! So now we’re looking at 16 months or so before a local shipbuilder can design and build new boats.
In the meantime, the 90-minute passenger-only ferry being proposed from Seattle to Pt. Townsend sounds great. I’d make a weekend of that.
In a press conference today, Gov. Gregoire announced plans to build three new ferries at a cost of $100M by borrowing money from other ferry projects. The passenger ferry from Seattle will begin service in January.
Fun Fact: These ferries were built in 1927 to move people around the San Francisco Bay. When the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges were built, they were sold to the Puget Sound Navigation company and renamed (via Wikipedia).[Continue reading...]