Surprise! Transportation budget includes extra Port Townsend-Keystone ferry runs

OLYMPIA — The supplemental transportation budget that’s now out of a legislative conference committee and headed to the governor’s desk includes all of the previous North Olympic Peninsula projects, plus a bonus.

The bonus is $357,000 to add two daily sailings of the Port Townsend-Keystone ferry from May 19 to Sept. 8 to help the tourism economy on both ends of the run across Admiralty Inlet.

The route is being served by the passenger-car ferry Steilacoom II, currently being leased from Pierce County through April 2009, after the route’s 80-year Steel Electric ferries were pulled from service in late November due to safety concerns.

“That’s a crucial time period for tourism,” said Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam in a written statement.

“Adding two more runs will not only allow more people to see the beauty of our region, but it will boost the local economy as well.”

Hargrove, along with Reps. Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, and Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, represents the 24th District, which includes Clallam and Jefferson counties and one third of Grays Harbor County.

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