Fast Ferry Program

Performance Indicators  

The Performance Indicators dashboard, which will be updated monthly, provides a statistical snapshot of the fast-ferry program in the Overview tab and sailing-by-sailing details on the Bremerton and Kingston tabs. The dashboard answers common questions like these:

  • How many riders use the service? Is ridership growing?
  • What percentage of scheduled sailings are completed instead of being cancelled?
  • How often does the fast-ferry service depart on time?
  • How full is each sailing? How does it vary by direction or time of day?

The dashboard is an evolving product. Kitsap Transit welcomes feedback from users on ways to make it more relevant and insightful. Send feedback to Sanjay Bhatt, Public Information Officer, at sanjayb@kitsaptransit.com.

Rich Passage Beach Monitoring 

Briefing for Property Owners (Jan 29-30, 2020)

The Rich Passage Wake Research project was designed to investigate the feasibility of fast-ferry service through Rich Passage.  Conducted over more than a decade and a half, the study involved extensive data collection, computerized wave and wake modeling, development and testing of a prototype low-wake vessel and ongoing monitoring of the effects of fast-ferry operations on the shorelines of Rich Passage. The research project has collected periodic measurements of beaches before and during operation of the low-wake optimized vessels. In January 2020 Kitsap Transit and its research project leader met with Rich Passage property owners to discuss the results of measurements taken between 2004 and 2019.

Southworth Fast Ferry

Pre-Launch Survey Results (May 11, 2020)

While our plan has not changed to launch Southworth Fast Ferry service in 2020, our confidence in our ability to execute the plan on time has diminished for a number of reasons:

  • Boats: The pandemic has disrupted workforce and supply chains, creating new hurdles for Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, the shipyard under contract to build our two new 250-passenger bow-loaders. One will be the primary vessel operating the Southworth/Seattle route; the other will serve the Kingston/Seattle route. The shipyard has invoked a contract clause that frees them from meeting their delivery deadlines. 
  • West Seattle Bridge: The sudden closure of the West Seattle Bridge for at least two years has sparked discussions about expanding the number of ferry trips operated by King County Water Taxi into the downtown Seattle passenger-only ferry terminal. Kitsap Transit is working with our partners to determine the impact of the Bridge closure on our fast-ferry operations and assessing our alternatives to the already congested passenger-only ferry dock in Seattle.
  • Ferry Schedule: The pandemic, along with the measures designed to slow its spread, has caused swift, severe drops in ridership on both Kitsap Transit and Washington State Ferries. In response, both agencies have temporarily reduced service. While service will be restored, how quickly remains unclear. That uncertainty on what the ferry schedules will look like means Kitsap Transit’s ability to finalize a Southworth-Seattle fast-ferry schedule remains uncertain as well. 

While we face these challenges, we continue to make progress on other aspects of our work plan. We are encouraged to see that some survey respondents plan to ride a Kitsap Transit bus to the Southworth ferry terminal, while many more expect to drive there. The terminal requires improvements to the passenger queuing area and the dropoff/pickup lanes to accommodate future bus operations. We are working with Washington State Ferries on short-term upgrades as well as applying for a federal grant for an additional ferry slip that will improve service reliability and allow for schedules that meet riders’ preferences. 

Community Meeting Presentation (October 26, 2019)

To stay up to date on the Southworth Fast Ferry, subscribe to our Southworth Fast Ferry e-mail list via our GovDelivery service - CLICK HERE.

Community Meeting: Bremerton Fast Ferry Update

On May 11, Kitsap Transit held a community meeting to offer an update on additional fast ferries for the Bremerton/Seattle route and the agency's reservations system. Below is a summary of the meeting along with related documents. Kitsap Transit will provide updates as it makes improvements. Effective May 17, the reservation system will allow last-minute booking and cancellation of reservations. Click here for details.

Meeting Summary

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