Ferry system expecting large crowd for holiday weekend

Reservations mostly full on Port Townsend-Coupeville route

PORT TOWNSEND — The state Department of Transportation expects about 500,000 travelers to use the ferry system this Labor Day weekend, increasing the possibility of longer wait times at terminals.

The busiest travel times likely will be today and Monday, said Ian Sterling, a spokesperson for the ferry system.

The Port Townsend-Coupeville route is on a reservation system, which was mostly full for the weekend by Thursday morning, Sterling said.

“If you’re traveling standby, you can do it, but I wouldn’t advise it,” he said. “If you do, I would travel on off-peak times, so Saturday rather than Friday, and return Sunday or Tuesday rather than Monday.”

The Kingston-Edmonds ferry has consistently had wait times of more than one hour since late June during the weekend, according to a Transportation press release.

“Last weekend saw up to three-hour waits, and that was just a regular weekend and not a holiday weekend,” Sterling said.

From Kingston, the busiest times since late June have been Sundays midday through the afternoon and midday on Mondays, according to the press release. From Edmonds, the busiest times have been Thursday afternoons, Friday midday through afternoon and midday Saturdays.

To reduce or eliminate waiting, riders might consider walking onto the ferry or taking an early morning or late evening sailing, the press release stated.

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Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at bmclean@peninsuladailynews.com.

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