Regional Passenger-Only Ferry Study Underway

Last Updated: 
Sep 11, 2019

PSRC is conducting a study of passenger-only ferry service around Puget Sound to identify opportunities to expand regional transportation options

PSRC launched the Regional Passenger-Only Ferry Study early in 2020, starting with a review of previous studies and current passenger-only ferry service to identify trends, lessons learned and best practices. Next steps include developing criteria to assess potential terminals and routes.

Community, jurisdiction and stakeholder input is critical. PSRC encourages information sharing and feedback on potential passenger-only ferry service in the region's communities throughout the project timeline. Please contact Gil Cerise, Program Manager at GCerise@psrc.org with any information you would like to provide and any questions.

Project Schedule

Schedule

Background

The Puget Sound region has a long history of reliance on waterborne transportation. Ferries play a key role in the regional transportation system and economy, connecting people to jobs, services and recreation.

The Washington State Legislature directed PSRC to conduct a Regional Passenger-Only Ferry Study across the 12 counties bordering Puget Sound and on Lake Washington and Lake Union. The study will review potential routes and terminals, ridership demand, costs and use of alternative fuels, and suggest recommendations to accelerate the electrification of the ferry fleet.

PSRC previously conducted a study of passenger-only ferry service within the central Puget Sound in 2008, including an analysis of market opportunities, viable routes in the near to long-term, fleets and facilities, and roles and action steps for various agencies throughout the region. These documents are available below.

Today there are two providers of year-round passenger-only ferry service in the region: King County Metro and Kitsap Transit. Passenger-only ferry service and ridership has been expanding in recent years. With the success of these existing services, interest is growing in passenger-only ferry service as another public transportation option connecting to the regional transportation system.

Resources

2008 Regional Passenger-Only Ferry Study