03/07/2008: "Reduced Capacity On Ferry Starts Monday"
The 34-car Hiyu will replace the 87-car Klahowya on the San Juan Islands inter-island route beginning Monday, March 10. Even though the winter and spring months see less inter-island traffic than in summer, customers should expect some sold out sailings due to the reduced capacity of the Hiyu. The down-sizing is expected to last until mid-May.
• The inter-island 8:25 a.m. from Friday Harbor will be priority for Orcas and Shaw and space available for Lopez; the 11:35 a.m. sailing from Friday Harbor will not take Lopez-bound traffic. Instead, the 8:05 a.m. and 12:40 p.m. sailings from Friday Harbor to Anacortes will stop at Lopez in route to Anacortes to unload Lopez vehicles and passengers. No Anacortes bound vehicles will be loaded at Lopez.
• Friday Harbor customers who normally take the 8:25 a.m. inter-island sailing to Lopez will also have limited space available on the 8:05 a.m sailing to Anacortes, and those who would normally take the 11:35 a.m. inter-island sailing to Lopez should take the 12:40 p.m. sailing to Anacortes, which will arrive in Lopez at 1:15 p.m.
“In my first week on the job I’ve worked with staff to ensure capacity on all our routes is optimized throughout the system,” said David Moseley, new Assistant Secretary of the WSDOT Ferries Division. “I am aware of the frustration that service disruptions over the last few months have caused and I’m committed to finding creative ways to minimize capacity reductions as we move into the summer season.”
Since vessel and service changes often cause ferry customers to alter their commuting habits, the normal policy of no refunds for frequent user multi-ride tickets is waived. Customers requesting a refund should call Susan Harris-Huether at (206) 515-3460 or e-mail her at Sharris@wsdot.wa.gov.
“Many of the changes reflected in this version of the spring and summer maintenance and dry-docking plan have come as a direct result of suggestions from customers, Ferry Advisory Committee members and local communities,” said Moseley. “We’ll be fine-tuning this plan as we move forward and adjusting schedules to ensure that we offer the best service possible with the vessels we have available.”