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Washington State Ferry Fares To Increase Over Next Year

Tom Banse
Northwest News Network

Fares on Washington state ferries are going up again. The Washington State Transportation Commission approved a two-stage increase Tuesday afternoon.

The fare increases are designed to meet a $328 million revenue target set by the Washington Legislature.

State Ferries director David Mosely says the fare increases will mostly just maintain the status quo. "We are not unfortunately in a financial condition to make substantial improvements to the system. Our job is to do what we can as cost effectively as we can to maintain and preserve the level of service that we have today."

Effective October 1, passenger fares will increase 2 percent and vehicle fares 3 percent. Passenger fares will go up another 2 percent and vehicle fares 2.5 percent on May 1, 2014. The aim is to encourage walk-on riders.

It's not all bad news. Families traveling on the state ferries may appreciate a bigger discount on children's tickets. The youth discount widens to 50 percent off the adult fare starting in the fall.

On the Web:

2013 Ferry Fare Proposal - Washington State Transportation Commission 

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.