Water Taxi spring schedule postponed to at least April 20, 2020

With Seattle's famed Space Needle in the background, the MV Doc Maynard glides across Elliott Bay toward West Seattle.

King County photo by Ned Ahrens

Each year, the start of King County Water Taxi’s spring/summer schedule coincides with the week of the Mariner’s home opener, kicking off seven months of increased service to commuters, local explorers, and tourists alike.

This year, peak season service was scheduled to begin on Monday, March 23, with a [now-canceled] Mariners home opener game scheduled for Thursday, March 26. Peak season service includes mid-day sailings during the weekdays, late night Friday and Saturday sailings, as well as Saturday and Sunday service on the West Seattle route.

We will now postpone the start of peak season service and reevaluate a new start date in one month. We’ll maintain our current winter schedule through April 20, 2020, continuing to provide morning and afternoon commute service from downtown to and from West Seattle and Vashon Island.

Why are we doing this?

  1. Our ridership has decreased 23 percent over the last two weeks as more people are practicing social distancing by staying home or telecommuting. Our vessels are not at capacity and riders who do come on board are able to maintain safe distance in accordance with Public Health guidelines. At this point, it is not a good use of tax-payer resources to add additional service.
  2. Running commute and peak service requires more crew, and we must preserve our crew in order to maintain core commute service in the event that our workforce is affected by COVID-19.

At this time, the water taxi team does not intend to reduce service beyond current service levels.

Most immediately, we’re putting safety first by cleaning and disinfecting our vessels several times daily, including sanitization of handrails, tabletops and seats.

We remain thankful for our riders – and also our riders who are taking care of their personal health by staying home.

5 thoughts on “Water Taxi spring schedule postponed to at least April 20, 2020

  1. I miss all of “my” crew on the boat and hope that you know how hard this social distancing thing is for us. Keeping you all in my thoughts and will be happy when I get to see everyone again! Safe sailing my friends!

  2. While I am not an expert on disease transmission, the water taxi seems a safer alternative than a bus; more physical space, better air circulation, shorter potential exposure duration than the C Line. Having trips through the day could also distribute ridership. If anything, it would seem positive for the community and for those of us who are still needed at essential workplaces. Thank you.

  3. With the closure of the West Seattle bridge we need to have the spring schedule for the Water Taxi start as soon as possible. There are currently almost no routes between West Seattle and downtown Seattle; the First Avenue South bridge is overwhelmed. PLEASE increase service of the water taxi ASAP. Thank you.

  4. Hi Benjamin, Thank you for supporting our water taxi service! Currently, we’re experiencing a 90% dip in water taxi ridership as people respond to direction from public health officials. We’ve also only seen an increase of a handful of people per sailing since the closure of the West Seattle Bridge so there’s still plenty of room aboard our vessels to practice social distancing for our passengers who must travel. We’re working on blog post with more information, so stay tuned. Thanks again for writing to us.

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