Mukilteo ferry

39 Local Elected Leaders Sign Fund Our Ferries Support Letter

PSRC delivered a letter to Governor Inslee and the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House Transportation Committees of the Washington State Legislature from local elected leaders from across all corners of Puget Sound supporting robust investments in Washington State Ferries to urgently restore full ferry system service. 

The letter expresses appreciation for investments made in ferries by the legislature over the past few years. The signers also support funding included in the Governor’s proposed supplemental budget, plus some additional short-term measures to address service issues while ferry communities wait for full fleet restoration.

It’s not too late! If you are a local elected official, please consider signing on to the Fund Our Ferries Letter. We will update this post every few days with new signatures.

View Fund Our Ferries Letter (PDF)   Download Ferries Flyer (PDF)

Delivered February 11, 2024
Signatories updated February 26, 2024

Dear Governor Inslee, Chair Liias, Chair Fey, Ranking Member King and Ranking Member Barkis:

The Washington State Ferry system is in crisis. We are local elected officials from ferry communities across all corners of Puget Sound joining together to call upon state lawmakers to make robust investments in Washington State Ferries (WSF) to urgently restore full ferry system service.

Ferries are an essential part of our local communities. They bring tourists to our homegrown small businesses, hotels and restaurants. They transport our residents to life-saving medical appointments. They provide access to family and cultural connections. They get people to and from their jobs.

Right now, the Service Contingency Plan has the fleet operating at only 15 vessels, while WSF relays that 26 vessels are needed to operate at full service and allow for necessary planned maintenance. This drastic reduction in service is resulting in significant impacts on our residents and businesses who rely on ferry service. 

We thank the Washington State Legislature for making investments in the ferry system in recent years to stabilize the ferry workforce and to preserve and maintain vessels. We thank Governor Inslee for his leadership in continuing and enhancing these investments to address both long and short-term issues facing the WSF ferry system in the proposed supplemental transportation budget. We fully support the investments in the Governor’s budget, and we urge additional investments to address the immediate needs our communities are facing because of reduced service.

We recommend the following priorities to build and preserve vessels, ensure full staffing, and provide short-term solutions to address service gaps.

Vessel Construction, Preservation, and Electrification Five new hybrid-electric ferries must be built as quickly as possible to restore ferry fleet capacity and full system service. Adequate funding for preservation and maintenance of aging vessels must also be a budget priority to ensure existing vessels continue to operate to avoid further service interruptions. We also support resources to ensure vessel electric conversion and charging facilities to meet our state climate goals.

Workforce Development Retaining existing ferry crew, recruiting new staff and addressing upcoming retirements are vital to restoring and enhancing ferry service. We support the following workforce development initiatives:

  • Provide training opportunities and scholarships to promote existing deck and engine room crew 
  • Add dispatch and vessel crew staff
  • Create a new workforce development program in Kitsap County 

Actions to Address Immediate Community Needs Supplementing WSF service with state-funded local options and exploring creative solutions to is necessary while ferry communities across the state wait for the ferry fleet to be fully restored. We recommend state funding to:

  • Maintain Kitsap passenger-only ferry service
  • Fund additional King County Water Taxi Service between Seattle and Vashon Island
  • Continue Operate the San Juan Crew Shuttle
  • Conduct studies of passenger-only service, the next class of ferry vessels and the economic impact of ferries on our local, regional and state economy

Action must be taken to preserve our marine highway system for our residents, businesses, and visitors. Please ensure ferries and ferry communities are a priority in the Transportation Budget.



Island County
Commissioner Janet St. Clair 

Jefferson County
Commissioner Kate Dean

Kitsap County
Commissioner Charlotte Garrido
Commissioner Katie Walters
Commissioner Christine Rolfes

King County
Executive Dow Constantine
Council Chair Dave Upthegrove
Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda

Pierce County
Council Chair Ryan Mello

San Juan County
Council Chair Jane Fuller
Councilmember Christine Minney
Councilmember Cindy Wolf

Skagit County
Commissioner Lisa Janicki
Commissioner Peter Browning
Commissioner Ron Wesen

Snohomish County
Councilmember Megan Dunn


City of Anacortes
Councilmember Christine Cleland-McGrath
Councilmember TJ Fantini
Councilmember Carolyn Moulton
Councilmember Ryan Walters

City Of Bainbridge Island
Mayor Joe Deets
Deputy Mayor Jon Quitslund
Councilmember Ashley Mathews

City of Bremerton
Mayor Greg Wheeler
Councilmember Jennifer Chamberlin
Councilmember Jeff Coughlin
Councilmember Michael Goodnow
Councilmember Anna Mockler
Councilmember Jane Rebelowski

City of Des Moines
Mayor Traci Buxton
Councilmember Matt Mahoney

Town of Friday Harbor
Mayor Ray Jackson

City of Port Orchard
Mayor Rob Putaansuu 

City of Port Townsend
Mayor David J. Faber
Deputy Mayor Amy Howard
Councilmember Owen Rowe
Councilmember Ben Thomas

City of Poulsbo
Mayor Rebecca Erickson
Councilmember/Deputy Mayor Ed Stern
Councilmember Gary McVey

City of Seattle
Mayor Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Rob Saka
Councilmember Robert Kettle


Port of Bremerton
Commissioner Cary Bozeman
Commissioner Axel Strakeljahn

Port of Port Townsend
Commissioner Carol Hasse

Port of Silverdale
Commissioner Caleb Reese
Commissioner Rick Slate

Public Utility Districts

Kitsap Public Utility District 
Commissioner Debra Lester