The Kennewick ferry is shown at the Port Townsend dock Wednesday morning. All state-run ferries will see an increase in fares starting Oct. 1 and another on May 1. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

The Kennewick ferry is shown at the Port Townsend dock Wednesday morning. All state-run ferries will see an increase in fares starting Oct. 1 and another on May 1. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

State ferry rates to rise

Increases planned for October, May

OLYMPIA — State ferry fares will increase in the fall and then again the following spring.

The Washington State Transportation Commission approved the rate increase Tuesday, saying it is needed to meet the $407 million revenue requirement that the state Legislature passed in April.

The revenue Washington State Ferries receives from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021, must meet the $407 million requirement, as the state prepares to build new ferries for its runs.

The increases will apply to all state ferry runs, including on the Port Townsend-Coupeville route.

Starting Oct. 1, fare rates will increase by 2.5 percent for all vehicles, with an additional 5 percent increase for oversized vehicles on the Anacortes-Sidney route.

For example, the standard vehicle and driver rate for the Port Townsend-Coupeville route is $14.80 one-way, and after the increase it will be $15.17 one-way.

Passengers also will see a 2 percent increase in fares. For the Port Townsend-Coupeville route, this would raise the current regular walk-on/passenger fair from $3.45 to $3.52 one-way.

No-show fees for reservations will increase up to 100 percent of the one-way fare paid for a standard-sized vehicle.

Making transfers on the San Juan Islands’ Interisland ferry can happen at any time the same service day the transfer was issued.

Discussions with rider discussion boards about the changes started back in January, said Reema Griffith, transportation commission executive director.

Once the new law was in place, the commission moved forward with their plan with the required revenue now known, Griffith said.

The second increase will start May 1, which includes another 2.5 percent fare increase for all vehicles, an additional 5 percent fare increase for oversized vehicles on the Anacortes/Sidney B.C. route and a 2 percent fare increase for passengers.

The May changes also includes an additional 25-cent increase to the capitol surcharge that is already incorporated into all fares for the building of a new vessel, said Griffith.

That would make the Port Townsend-Coupeville route’s increased $15.17 fare go up to $15.80 for standard vehicle and driver one-way rate, and the $3.52 regular passenger fare to rise to $3.84 one-way.

In addition to the the fare increases, the transportation commission authorized two pilot programs.

A “Low Income Fare” pilot project would test the possibility of a lower passenger fare for low-income customers. For this test to become a reality, the program would need to have funds provided by the state Legislature to offset the lost revenue and a secondary approval would have to come from the commission. The earliest this program could begin would be 2020, and it would run for no more than three years.

A “Good to Go” pilot is in discussion, which would make use of the current “Good to Go” system that motorists already use on toll bridges and select highways. Separate fares may be established for these users, and like the other pilot, the approval of it is dependant upon another commission vote and the pilot would run for up to three years.

More information about the commission and the fare proposal can be found at


Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5 or at [email protected].

More in News

The Port Angeles School District is expected to sell its former administrative services building to Olympic Medical Center in February. (Paul Gottlieb/Peninsula Daily News)
Olympic Medical Center buying school’s site

Building across from courthouse

Kathy Ryan checks on salad greens at the Quimper Grange food-bank garden, one of 10 plots that provided thousands of pounds to local food banks last year. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Food bank gardens in a growth spurt

Expansion in works for Food Bank Farm Gardens

One place where COVID-19 testing is available in Port Angeles is the Olympic Medical Center drive-up testing facility at the former Wells Fargo Bank at Front and Race streets. Intake forms must be filed out before testing is done. The form can be found at (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
Peninsula COVID-19 cases grow by 407 over weekend

Peak expected in about two weeks

Navy plans security exercise

Naval Magazine Indian Island will conduct security training exercises… Continue reading

Vacancy opens on board formerly known as SARC

The Clallam County Park & Recreation District No. 1 has… Continue reading

Sequim’s Kiwanis Club disbands, joins Port Angeles group

Last grants support local organizations

DOT cancels overnight Hood Canal Bridge closures for fourth time

New closures set for next week; if those are canceled, disruption will be scheduled for following week

Mark Willis enjoys a day at the beach with granddaughter Bryn in 2020. (Willis/Harrington family)
Former Sequim schools administrator recovering after strokes

The family of a fixture of Sequim schools is raising… Continue reading

Port Townsend City Manager John Mauro.
Work plan for Port Townsend lacks workers

Staffing, bidding a challenge

Most Read