A ferry heads out from Mukilteo towards Clinton during the evening commute. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A ferry heads out from Mukilteo towards Clinton during the evening commute. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Have a question for Washington State Ferries? Ask away this week

Virtual meeting topics include service restoration, hiring and progress on major vessel and terminal construction.

MUKILTEO — Want to know why sailings get canceled, when a new ferry will float and how to get a job on one of the state’s green-and-white boats?

Learn that and more at the Washington State Ferries community meetings on Wednesday and Thursday.

The sessions are virtual so people can attend from their couch or car. What better way to kill time while waiting in line for a ferry?

The meetings give riders a chance to get answers to burning questions, such as about crew shortages.

“Some come into those meetings hot and realize maybe it isn’t as simple as hiring to work at McDonald’s. It takes more training than a fast-food restaurant,” ferry spokesperson Ian Sterling said.

The sessions offer a glimpse outside what might be your normal route.

“The meetings let people see how the whole system works,” Sterling said.

Ferry officials will discuss service progress, workforce challenges and updates on key projects.

Strides have been made since the pandemic when walk-on traffic decreased, people were instructed to stay in their cars and sailings were disrupted by lack of crew.

The Edmonds-Kingston route began a trial of pre-pandemic two-boat service levels on Jan. 1. If all goes well, it will be restored to two boats. The Mukilteo-Clinton, Seattle-Bainbridge and Anacortes-San Juan Islands routes are fully restored.

Meeting sessions are 12:30 p.m. Wednesday and 6 p.m. Thursday. Registration to participate is required.

Both events will cover the same material. The day after each meeting, a video recording will be available online.

More at wsdot.wa.gov/ferries.

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.

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