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?
- 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.
- 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.