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Home » Archives » December 2006 » More On Propose Ferry Fares. Are They Fair?

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12/23/2006: "More On Propose Ferry Fares. Are They Fair?"


Dear Editor:

Regarding the letter from Jeff Bossler: Halliburton Could Run The Ferries! , OK, we have toll ferries, but do we have toll roads in the State of Washington?

The disconnect between financing and spending is astounding" correctly stated Alex McLeod, Chair of the San Juan Ferry Advisory Committee. While his statement was solely pertinent to our State Ferry system, what is even more astounding to me is the reckless misplacement of financial priorities".

I agree. Why not charge drivers a toll on the bridges across Lake Washington, or a fee to drivers and skiers to cover the cost of snowplows and keeping the highways in the mountains clear in the winter? Despite the objections of all local residents present at the hearings held in the islands by the Washington State Ferry Service, they are going to build new $120,000,000 terminals at not only Anacortes, but many of the other terminals in the ferry system. Shops and a large fancy restaurant are in the plans. Do we want that.NO! What we want is a better service, and better ferries, and a second dock for emergencies.

It should have been a wakeup call when Orcas was without service for six weeks due to a docking accident. Can you imagine what San Juan Island would do without ferry service for that long?! Yetwhen a second dock was installed while our old one was being repaired, they would not let it stay for backup service. "Too expensive to make it permanent" was the answer.

The new terminal in Anacortes will not really effect merchants there that much, but the two ferry landing restaurants will certainly be threatened. In other areas, there is great concern about the ferry service being in competition now with their local ferry landing businesses. Why can't they spend that money in improving their service instead of getting in the gift shop and restaurant business? We can't even get food or even coffee on the ferries now. The vending machines don't take anything but dollar bills, so if you only have larger bills or change, you are out of luck. December 21st, on the 8:05 AM from Friday Harbor, I found no coffee, no food, and only one vending machine with coffeebut I was out of dollar bills. It was a long ride to Anacortes for my morning coffee! Wake up Washington State Ferry Service and do the right thing with our tax dollars and ferry fares!!


Helen King
San Juan island



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