EDMONDS — The Edmonds-Kingston ferry route was restored to two-boat service Friday morning, but it’s only set to last through the weekend.
The 64-car M/V Salish is only available through Sunday. Then it will fill in on another route while a vessel goes out for routine maintenance, said Washington State Ferries spokesperson Dana Warr.
The vessel was freed up after a “complicated” systemwide shuffle of boats, said another spokesperson, Ian Sterling.
The M/V Salish usually serves the Port Townsend-Coupeville route, and is “rarely” seen on other routes, Sterling noted.
The Edmonds-Kingston route was reduced to one boat at the end of October after the M/V Issaquah moved to replace a broken ferry on the Seattle-Bremerton line.
Warr said the Edmonds-Kingston route could potentially be back to two-boat service before Christmas, but the ferry system is “dynamic” and things could shift at any time.
“We are working really hard to get these boats through maintenance so we can get two-boat service restored before the holidays,” Warr said.
A second boat should relieve some delays through the weekend.
One-boat service has resulted in regular delays of over an hour on the Edmonds-Kingston route for drivers.
The 188-car M/V Spokane is the other vessel serving Edmonds-Kingston. Its temporary partner is nearly three times smaller.
Only 15 of 21 vessels are in service due to routine and unplanned maintenance. Because of the shortage, Warr stressed the importance of staying on the maintenance schedule.
“If we defer maintenance, the problems get worse,” Warr said. “So we have to take these boats in for scheduled maintenance.
He encouraged riders to sign up for rider alerts and to use the ferry app and website to stay up to date, as things can change quickly.