New Online Ferry Tool Helps You Avoid Being the First Car on That Next Boat

Posted by on December 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm

departing ferry by Kathy Haskin

It doesn’t take long to learn that ferry mojo ebbs and flows, despite our best-laid plans. Haven’t we all been the last car not to make it on? The view 50 minutes later is lovely, but most of us would sooner take that last place on the earlier boat.

Now you can calculate your chances of making the ferry with a new tool that Washington State Ferries (WSF) is providing to customers online (oops, unless you’re depending on Boingo, but that’s another story, or three).

WSF has a new real-time page where you can view the number of available vehicle spaces before committing to that line for what you hope will be the next sailing. The pilot WSF terminal conditions page provides an estimate of available vehicle spaces on a vessel for its upcoming sailing by calculating the vessel’s capacity of vehicle spaces and deducting the number of vehicle fares collected at the tollbooth. For those routes that accept vehicle reservations, the WSF program also deducts the number of vehicle reservations. 

 “This is just one more tool for our customers,” said David Moseley, WSDOT assistant secretary, ferries division. “Seeing the number of available vehicle spaces in real-time for an upcoming sailing helps our customers make an informed decision about their travel plans.”

WSF said it hopes this new information will help

  • inform customers of the likelihood of making their planned sailing;
  • lessen vehicle congestion at terminals;
  • encourage travel during nonpeak times; and
  • promote vehicle reservations on routes that offer reservations.

Real-time traffic information is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by dialing 511. WSF is requesting customer feedback during this pilot stage.

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Photo courtesy of Kathy Haskin.

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New Online Ferry Tool Helps You Avoid Being the First Car on That Next Boat, 4.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
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3 Responses to “New Online Ferry Tool Helps You Avoid Being the First Car on That Next Boat”

  1. robclarkre says:

    Sounds good, but I followed the link, clicked on a bunch of stuff, but couldn't find what you're writing about. A little clarification, please.

    Rob Clark

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    • Julie Hall says:

      Hi Rob. If you follow the link in this article that says Terminal Conditions Page, you then will see on a WSDOT page a list of ferry locations, including Bainbridge Island and Seattle. If you click on either of those links you will then see a page with the approximate vehicle spaces on current ferry times. You might have to hover over it to make the times pop up.

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  2. Noodle says:

    The best advice to those who rely on the ferry is this… You've never late for a ferry; you're just early for the next one. Follow that mantra and the stress of relying on the ferry system is much easier to take.

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