Thursday, January 31, 2013
|Seattle Water Taxi|
Transit Agencies in Puget Sound – Riding the Water Taxi
By Brian Doennebrink
The King County Ferry District operates two routes together referred to as the King County Water Taxi. The KCFD is a special-purpose district in King County that’s governed by all nine members of the King County Council and is funded through a property tax levied on all property in the county.
One water taxi travels a 10-minute route between Pier 50 in downtown Seattle to the Seacrest dock in West Seattle. It is presently operating on winter schedule, which only includes peak hours of roughly 6-9 a.m and 3:45-7 p.m. Two bus shuttle routes, also operated by the ferry district, travel from West Seattle: route 775 to the Admiral District, route 773 to the West Seattle Junction. The water taxi’s one-way cash fare is $4.00 for adults 19+, $3.50 if using an ORCA card with sufficient fare value. Youths aged 6 through 18 are charged a $4.00 cash or ticket fare (tickets are available from vending machines at the Water Taxi terminal) or $2.75 using an ORCA card with sufficient fare value. Those with Regional Reduced Fare Permits have a $1.75 fare.
The second route takes about 22 minutes in traveling between Vashon Island and downtown Seattle. The one-way cash fare is $5.00 for adults 19+, $4.25 if using an ORCA card with sufficient fare value. Youths aged 6 through 18 are charged a $5.00 cash or ticket fare or $3.25 with an ORCA card with sufficient fare value. Those with Regional Reduced Fare Permits have a $2.25 fare.
For both routes: checks aren’t accepted, reservations aren’t taken, and seating is not guaranteed. A crew member carries an ORCA card reader.
King County’s 2013-14 biennial budget included $12.5 million for two new water taxis, which would replace two aging leased vessels. Federal grants will cover 80 percent of the total cost of the vessels with the rest coming from Ferry District revenues.