06/22/2010: "Fall Ferry Schedule. Have An Opinion?"
San Juan County’s Ferry Advisory Committee has established a new “feedback” web page to accept comments on ferry service and draft ferry schedules. The feedback page may be accessed by Clicking Here .
The web page was put in service as Washington State Ferries and the San Juan County Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) called for public comments on two options for the Fall 2010 schedule (available online at: http://sanjuanco.com/Docs/FallFerryOptions.pdf).
Both options take into account new Coast Guard-mandated constraints on operations, including the elimination of "touring watches".
Another limitation compared to spring operations is the 130-car Chelan will be out of service for maintenance and be replaced by the 150-car Elwah on the international run. The 100-car Sealth will then sub for the Elwah on the mainland run, reducing capacity on those sailings.
The "Option #1" schedule is very similar to the Spring 2010 schedule.
The "Option #2" schedule shifts the Sidney run earlier in order to provide more capacity in the afternoon. This results in some changes to sailing times which will help some, but may cause problems for others.
In discussions at its meeting Wednesday, members of FAC acknowledged that neither schedule option will satisfy everyone.
The Committee hopes to receive input on the two schedule options from a wide range of ferry users. It asks that comments and suggestions be as specific as possible, noting that comments such as, "these both stink" are not of much help.
Because resources are limited, FAC asks ferry users to distinguish between inconvenience and necessity, "The goal is to accommodate as many needs as possible," said FAC Chair Howie Rosenfeld. "We all need to work together."
Ferry users can comment either through the FAC Feedback page or by emailing Washington State Ferries at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments entered either way will be shared by WSF and FAC; however comments posted on the FAC page will also appear online, usually within 24 hours.