Ferries pass on a crossing between Mukilteo and Whidbey Island in August. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)

Ferries pass on a crossing between Mukilteo and Whidbey Island in August. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)

Speak up and listen up at virtual ferry community meetings

Officials will give updates on ferry delays and the alternate service plan.

MUKILTEO — Here’s a chance to vent to someone other than the ferry ticket takers and deckhands who have already heard it all.

Washington State Ferries is hosting virtual community meetings to provide updates and answer questions about the system.

The meetings are 6 p.m. Jan. 5 and 1 p.m. Jan. 11.

Ferry officials will discuss the system’s service and ongoing efforts to mitigate challenges as well as progress on key projects. Both meetings will cover the same material.

The pandemic has caused challenges for ferry workers and riders. Crew shortages have led to reduced sailings on a regular basis and also on short notice. Riders on the busy Edmonds-Kingston and Mukilteo-Clinton routes have endured waits of several hours during non-peak times when sailings are reduced to one-boat service.

Just how long will this go on?

Find out at the meeting.

The year-old Mukilteo terminal, which won building design awards in 2021, offers a scenic place for walk-ons to wait inside, with seating, charging stations and vending machines. The new holding area for cars has restroom facilities. An outside food vendor has been delayed. A perk of the expanded wait is that riders have time to walk to Ivar’s Fish Bar by the old holding area, or to stroll the promenade by the sea.

The ferry folks hold virtual meetings several times a year to get input and offer updates.

Participants can comment and ask questions. Registration is required to participate.

The day after each meeting, a video recording will be online.

More at wsdot.wa.gov/travel/washington-state-ferries/about-us/community-participation

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

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