Private operator to provide ferry
Washington State Ferries will contract with a private operator to provide passenger-only ferry service on the Port Townsend/Keystone ferry route beginning Jan. 5.
SEATTLE — Washington State Ferries will contract with a private operator to provide passenger-only ferry service on the Port Townsend/Keystone ferry route beginning Jan. 5.
The service will run for about four weeks while the Steilacoom II is out of service for maintenance and its U.S. Coast Guard-required annual inspection. The Steilacoom II is leased from Pierce County until the state builds a new ferry for the route
Three companies have submitted proposals for providing passenger service. The ferry service is reviewing the proposals and will announce a selection soon.
The last time the state used a passenger ferry on the route it used the Snohomish, one of its abandoned passenger ferries, but that boat was recently sold.
Ferries will offer the same number of daily trips as the current sailing schedule, but sailing times have been adjusted to improve transit connections on both sides of the route.
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