A surge in boardings in 2017 pushed Washington State Ferries to its highest ridership since 2002. The nation’s largest ferry system carried nearly 24.5 million people in 2017, enough to fill CenturyLink Field — every day, all year.
The count was 250,000 higher than 2016, marking another year of upward growth that’s expected to continue. Customers were up 1 percent over 2016, vehicles up 0.8 percent.
Edmonds-Kingston saw the second-highest total ridership with customers up 0.5 percent and vehicles up 1 percent.
Mukilteo-Clinton was the busiest route for drivers, with vehicles up 0.9 percent and customers up 0.7 percent.
Meanwhile, the fleet is aging. Nine of its 22 vessels are more than 30 years old. One of the newest ferries, the 144-car Suquamish, will join the Mukilteo route in 2019, coinciding with a new terminal.
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