Seattle Fast Ferry Terminal Project


Kitsap Transit has kicked off the Seattle Fast Ferry Terminal Project to evaluate options for an additional downtown Seattle landing site to support ongoing operations of Kitsap Fast Ferries as well as create future capacity.

Fast ferry ridership has grown since Kitsap Transit launched its cross-sound service in 2017. Kitsap Fast Ferries operates three routes connecting Bremerton, Kingston and Southworth in Kitsap County to Pier 50 in downtown Seattle. 

Pier 50 is operated by King County Marine Division, which operates its own passenger-only ferry service (King County Water Taxi). The dock at Pier 50 can only accommodate two ferries at a time. Additional landing facilities designed to accommodate fast ferries are needed to ensure reliable, on-time service that meets rider travel needs now and into the future.

What's Happening Now?

Early Scoping

Kitsap Transit and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently completed Early Scoping for the Seattle Fast Ferry Terminal Project (Project). Scoping is a process that helps define and refine the project purpose and need, alternatives, and criteria used for evaluation of alternatives.

Early Scoping included a public comment period, during which tribal governments, agencies, transit riders, property owners, businesses, community-based organizations and all other interested parties were invited to comment on the project's purpose and need and potential impacts and benefits to the community and environment that should be considered when developing and evaluating alternative site locations.

Early Scoping - Public Meetings

Kitsap Transit and the Federal Transit Administration held two public meetings as well as a tribal and inter-agency meeting.

Recordings of each meeting are available below, and the Presentation is available under Project Documents (right sidebar):

Passenger Only Ferries Map

Kitsap Transit Fast Ferry Routes ​

Project Documents

Purpose and Need

Early Scoping Information Report

Survey Results

Presentation, Early Scoping Public Meetings


Project Contact 
Steffani Lillie
Service & Capital Development Director
E-mail: KTplanning@kitsaptransit.com
Phone: (360) 478-6931

What's Next? 

With Early Scoping complete, Kitsap Transit has begun the process of defining site alternatives. A more comprehensive environmental review process will follow, including additional outreach and further opportunity to refine project purpose and need.

Project Timeline

The Seattle Fast Ferry Terminal Project is in the first phase of the alternatives development process, which includes development of site screening criteria, initial review of site options, and early scoping. Outreach completed to date to support site screening includes a public survey and direct initial stakeholder outreach to waterfront property owners and local agencies.

Once the development phase is completed, Kitsap Transit will begin facility design. Construction of the terminal is estimated to be complete in 2028.

You can sign up for e-mail updates on the Project by clicking here and subscribing to the Seattle Fast Ferry Terminal Project e-mail list


Why does Kitsap Transit need a new downtown Seattle passenger-only ferry terminal?

Ridership on passenger-only ferry (POF) routes, including Kitsap Transit’s Fast Ferry service, is growing, as is interest in additional routes across the region. Pier 50, which is also the landing site for King County's two Water Taxis, can accommodate only two POFs at any one time.

The Seattle Fast Ferry Terminal Project will improve reliability of this regional transit service by addressing the current shortage of POF landing site capacity on the Seattle waterfront. More discussion on the need for the project can be found in the Early Scoping Report.

Where might a potential downtown Seattle terminal site be located?

The Seattle Fast Ferry Terminal Project will evaluate potential locations along the downtown Seattle Waterfront starting north at Pier 70 down to Pier 46 to the south. 

terminal siting locations

How are potential terminal locations being analyzed?

Analysis of potential sites is a multi-step process. After conducting a complete inventory of the Seattle waterfront properties, Kitsap Transit is seeking input on the screening criteria to narrow the list of sites considered. These criteria will then be used to guide more thorough analysis of the remaining sites to select a small number of site alternatives for more comprehensive evaluation leading ultimately to selection of a preferred alternative. 

The criteria below will be applied to initial site screening:

Site use compatibility

  • Site allows POF landing site use
  • POF operations are compatible with existing site uses

In-water space to accommodate Kitsap Transit’s operating needs

  • Provide capacity for Kitsap Transit’s current three routes during peak hour commute with one back-up slip, and capacity to accommodate potential future growth
  • Simultaneous maneuvering space for a minimum of two vessels
  • Adequate protection from wind, waves, and wakes from vessel traffic

Space for passenger programming

  • Space for covered queuing and amenities to support at least three POF routes 


  • Multimodal-Pedestrian, bicycle, and transit connections
  • Maintaining current transit times

Future use planning

  • Uplands and in-water space to add equipment to support electric charging for vessels or 
  • Space to accommodate future application of alternative fuels

Further assessment of alternatives will be based on Kitsap Transit’s long-term service needs and goals, including criteria such as environmental, cultural and historical impacts, environmental justice, and community input.

What is Early Scoping?

Scoping is a process that engages the public, agencies and tribes to collect information and solicit feedback to help compare project alternatives and inform the decision-making process. The scoping outreach effort supports overall project development, public involvement and state and federal environmental processes.

Early Scoping is an optional step that precedes formal scoping and is a first opportunity for the public to learn about a proposed project. Early Scoping for the terminal siting is occurring within the context of the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations for complying with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Federal Transit Association (FTA) is the lead agency under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Kitsap Transit is the lead agency under the Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

Early Scoping for the Seattle Fast Ferry Terminal Project was open May 12, 2022 through June 13, 2022.

What input is Kitsap Transit seeking during early scoping for the Seattle Fast Ferry Terminal Project?

During early scoping, Kitsap Transit is asking for comments on:

  • Purpose and need for an additional downtown Seattle passenger-only ferry landing site
  • Study area and locations being analyzed
  • Potential project benefits and impacts on the community, the environment and transportation
  • Criteria used for initial site screening

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