SEATTLE – It’s going to be more expensive to ride a Washington state ferry in the future, but not as expensive as was proposed earlier by the state Transportation Commission.
The seven-member commission met and approved an increase of 2.5 percent for ferry fares, backing away from a 4 percent rate increase proposed earlier.
Ferry fares went up 6 percent last year, and Thursday’s increase was the lowest since 2001.
Because some of the vessels and terminals are aging, commission Chairman Johnny Cope said he was concerned about the ferry system having money to buy new vessels and keep its facilities in shape to serve what’s expected to be a growing market.
The increase will mean peak season fares, from May 1 through early October, will be $14.45 each way for a car and a driver on the Seattle-Bremerton, Edmonds-Kingston and Seattle-Bainbridge Island routes. The regular off-peak passenger fares will rise to $6.70, from $6.50.
The commission also scrapped a proposed $10 fee for a reservation on the Port Townsend-Keystone route.