After busy summer, Water Taxi sees record September ridership

The Sally Fox is docked at Pier 52 in Seattle.

King County Water Taxi had a busy summer 2017, and last month we saw record ridership on our vessels – marking the highest September ridership we’ve ever seen.

All that happened despite a move, a schedule shift and other big changes on the waterfront.

We sailed with more riders than ever on both the West Seattle and Vashon Island routes in September – the first full month we operated out of our temporary location at Pier 52 on the north side of Colman Dock. According to our counts:

  • The Vashon Island route welcomed 19,605 riders in September, up from 18,445 riders in September of last year. That’s a 6.3-percent increase.
  • The West Seattle route 42,444 riders in September, up from 41,057 during the same month last year, representing a 3.4-percent increase.

For the year, overall ridership is just under the record pace we set in 2016. Year to date, we’re at 488,187 riders, down just 2 percent from last year. But there are a few factors to consider when comparing year-to-year ridership:

  • We interrupted service on both routes for five days in early August so we could move our operations some 750 feet north to our temporary location on the north end of Colman Dock.
  • Once service resumed, we switched to a new schedule on the West Seattle route.
  • Riders have patiently endured changes on the Seattle waterfront due to Washington State Department of Transportation’s Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock Project, including a new configuration for vehicles along Alaskan Way.
  • We saw an influx of riders in May 2016 with the closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct as commuters out of West Seattle sought a congestion-free ride to Downtown Seattle.

(For a more in-depth look at our ridership numbers, visit the “Data” tab of our website)

Despite those reasons, riders – both regulars and newcomers – continue to hop aboard the King County Water Taxi for a reliable, stress-free commute. We’re committed to delivering that kind of service throughout the rest of 2017. Thanks for sailing with us!

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