Water taxi and Fast Ferry at Pier 50
Water taxi and Fast Ferry at Pier 50

Beginning Monday, August 7, construction at Colman Dock will close the Pier 50 dock for the King County Water Taxi and Kitsap Transit’s new Fast Ferries service. During an approximately 10-day period, Water Taxi service (on both routes) will be suspended, while Kitsap Fast Ferries will use a temporary dock at Pier 54 (Argosy Cruises next to Ye Olde Curiosity Shop). Fast Ferries sailing times will be on a temporary schedule, so check to see if your boat is leaving earlier or later than usual.

The closure comes as part of WSDOT’s Colman Dock Replacement Project, which will completely rebuild the state ferry terminal as well as the passenger-only terminal, which will open in fall 2018. The new passenger-only ferry terminal will feature a covered walkway and waiting area for passengers to queue in. A temporary passenger-only terminal on the north side of Colman Dock will be opened later this year to serve the Water Taxi and Fast Ferries.

While the Water Taxi is out of commission, there will be no bus replacement service. Instead, passengers are advised to use regular Metro bus routes to West Seattle and the Fauntleroy ferry terminal, including the RapidRide C Line, and routes 21, 37, 55, 56, 57, 116, 120, and 125. After service is restored, estimated to be on August 14, the West Seattle Water Taxi will run on a new sailing schedule to account for increased boarding times as well as waiting for state ferries to clear Colman Dock before proceeding to West Seattle.

3 Replies to “Colman Dock Construction Affecting Water Taxi and Fast Ferry This Month”

  1. Thanks for getting the word out. Metro will have additional buses on a few of the routes you mention to help address any overflow while Water Taxi service is suspended.

    Scott Gutierrez
    King County DOT/Metro

  2. It’s interesting to see that recommended alternative is the Fauntleroy Ferry. Too bad King County won’t cover the additional cost of commuting placed on usual Water Taxi riders to Vashon since PugetPass and ORCA transfers aren’t valid on Washington State Ferries.

    In general, not having WSDOT ferries honor ORCA transfers or PugetPasses is a huge barrier to car-free commuters coming in from across the Sound. Having to buy two separate passes or paying an extra fare when you miss the Water Taxi or when the Water Taxi is out of service makes many people decide to just drive on the ferry… it can be cost competitive: for example, ride the Water Taxi from Vashon to downtown in the morning, paying cash, is $6.25 With that fare you get a transfer to get to your final destination. Let’s say you work late, or the Water Taxi is out of service that evening, and you pay $2.75 for the bus to get to Fauntleroy, then $5.30 to walk-on the ferry for a total cost of $8.05 in the evening. Add that to the morning trip, for a total of $14.30 daily commute. In contrast, buy a 10-ride pass for cars on the ferry your daily ride cost in $14.93 for a normal size car, or $11.73 for a compact car.

    If the goals of our state is to reduce ferry congestion and help the environment, walk-ons to ferries need to be maximized by allowing for travel flexibility, greater affordability, and ease of transfers.

    1. The goal of our state is not to increase the ferry subsidy. Initiative 601 slashed the MVET, cutting ferry revenue substantially and blocking that method to fund additional service. It was ruled unconstitutional but the legislature enacted its terms anyway out if fear of tax-haters. Asking WSF to accept PugetPass would make a big hit to fare revenue, especially from those transferring to/from other services. And as those who currently have ferry passes or don’t ride the ferries regularly would start doing so more. It the state prioritized transit, we would have a level of service like Vancouver BC or Germany, and that third track to Portland would be built, and Sounder or ST express would run to Olympia all day.

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