This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
The New York Times reports that WSDOT is selling its old foot ferries on eBay:
“The state decided to get out of the passenger-only ferry business,” said Traci Brewer-Rogstad, director of operations for Washington State Ferries.
It has been four years since budget cuts, controversy and eventually declining ridership ended service on the so-called foot-ferry route that the two 350-passenger boats served between Seattle and Bremerton. The state is focusing its ferry system on its core operations, larger boats that carry vehicles as well as people. Yet the goal of getting rid of the passenger-only boats is intended to generate cash so that King County, and possibly other local governments, can get into the foot-ferry business themselves.
This week, King County approved raising property taxes by an average of about $22 a year for a $400,000 house to help pay for the operations of what it hopes will be an expanding year-round foot-ferry service that could include routes in Puget Sound and Lake Washington, which separates Seattle from suburbs like Kirkland and Bellevue. The sale of the Chinook and Snohomish would go toward capital investments, including buying or leasing smaller passenger ferries that are more fuel efficient and require smaller crews.
Indeed, King County is estimating $8.5M in revenue from the sale of the two ferries to go toward the Ferry District.