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An additional summer sailing for Orcas Island included in state's final supplemental transportation budget

Senator Liz Lovelett shared progress towards improving ferry service with her constituents. 

An additional sailing for Orcas Island in the summer schedule is one of the improvements. Photo by Sharon Kivisto

"The final supplemental transportation budget includes key investments to improve service reliability, hire additional crew, and complete terminal improvements. There is also money to study future passenger-only ferry options in the San Juans," Sen. Lovelett wrote in her newsletter.  "In addition to existing funding to convert two vessels to hybrid-electric power, the budget funds the conversion of a third Jumbo Mark II vessel to hybrid-electric power. The budget also continues to fund new vessels in the coming years. Our goal is to have multiple new boats in service as soon as possible, and this year’s budget keeps us on track,"

Details include: 

  • $10 million for additional vessel crew members, both deck and engine, across the system
  • $2.1 million for two additional classes for able-bodied sailors to obtain mate credentials
  • $988,000 for additional entry-level engine room positions
  • $500,000 to study passenger only ferry options
  • $540,000 to support new mate scholarships
  • $169,000 to add an additional service planning position
  • $140,000 for an economic impact study of the state ferry system
  • $80,000 to add an additional Orcas Island sailing in the summer

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