New ferry RSVPs met with traffic backup at toll booth instead

PORT TOWNSEND — There’s a new ferry reservation system in town, but many don’t know about it — resulting in traffic backups on Water Street to the overtaxed toll booth.

Most who showed up at the Port Townsend ferry landing Monday had not made prior phone reservations for the Port Townsend-Keystone ferry route and had to rely on state ferries toll booth sellers, officials said.

“The key will be to make sure people know about the reservation system before they show up at the terminal,” Hadley Greene, Washington State Ferries communications manager, said during launch day of the route’s new summer ferry reservation system.

The situation, which delayed the 12:45 p.m. run by 15 minutes, was complicated by backups on the phone reservation system.

That led ferries officials on Monday to launch the online reservation system two days earlier than planned.

“We’d like to encourage people to make reservations on the Web as much as possible, since some people have been experiencing long wait times for phone reservations,” Greene said.

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