State ferry fares increase; some to have smaller crews

SEATTLE — Higher fares are now in effect for Washington state ferries.

A 3 percent general fare increase starting May 1 coincides with the May-September peak season surcharge.

Meanwhile, some ferries will have smaller crews this summer.

The Kitsap Sun reported that the ferry system expects to save at least $1 million this year by trimming crews to the minimum required by the Coast Guard. Staffing changes will take effect June 17.

A representative of the Masters, Mates and Pilots union, Tim Saffle, said reduced staffing could result in delays. If someone is late for boat, the ferry can’t sail. With extra crew aboard, a ferry doesn’t have to wait.

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