Midyear check-in: Water Taxi ridership continues to grow

With the iconic Space Needle in the background, the Doc Maynard glides the waters of Puget Sound between Downtown and West Seattle.

With the iconic Space Needle in the background, the Doc Maynard glides the waters of Puget Sound between Downtown and West Seattle. King County photo by Ned Ahrens

We’re at the midway point of 2017, and our latest ridership numbers indicate that King County Water Taxi (surprise, surprise) is more popular than ever.

How popular, you ask? In June, the Water Taxi saw almost a 6-percent increase in ridership, or 3,900 more riders, compared to June 2016. On the West Seattle route in particular, we saw a jump of more than 7.2 percent.

In terms of how many riders have hopped on the Water Taxi so far this year – we reached 271,616 at the end of June.

That figure is not too far off the nearly 280,000 riders we saw at the midway point of 2016, after the Alaskan Way Viaduct weeklong shutdown prompted a surge of riders on our vessels.

Even with the Viaduct closure of 2016, the Vashon route has increased by nearly 1,000 riders when comparing the first six months of the year. The West Seattle route saw a slight dip in ridership compared to this point last year, but again, much of that can be attributed to the Viaduct closure.

A big reason King County Water Taxi is seeing more riders is customers are seeing the value of a congestion-free, reliable trip across the water. We’ve been getting the word out about our service more than ever before. That includes more posts on the Captain’s Blog, as well as posting more images of our vessels, our riders and our waters on Instagram. We’ve even launched a webpage dedicated to our busy summer of construction for our future Seattle terminal.

Our summer interns, from left to right: Alex Blough, Madeline Neubert and Alfred Fuentes

Our summer interns, from left to right: Alex Blough, Madeline Neubert and Alfred Fuentes

You also might have seen our three summer interns – Alex Blough, Alfred Fuentes and Madeline Neubert – who are helping spread the word about riding the water taxi. Feel free to say hi and ask them anything about our service when you see them down on the waterfront or onboard.

As always, thank you to all of our riders for making 2017 an amazing year … so far. We’ll do our best to make the rest of the year even better.

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