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Increases in ferry fares proposed

After a two-year freeze on ferry fares, the Washington Transportation Commission is considering raising all fares 2.5 percent on Oct. 11.

Public hearings times and places

Monday, Aug. 31: San Juan Islands, aboard the Sealth (inter-island ferry), departs Friday Harbor at 11:35 a.m., Orcas at 12:30 p.m., Shaw at 12:45 p.m., Lopez at 1:05 p.m., and returns to Friday Harbor at 1:55 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 1: Silverdale, 6 to 8 p.m., Silverdale Beach Hotel, 3073 NW Bucklin Hill Road.

Wednesday, Sept. 2: Vashon Island, 6 to 8 p.m., McMurray Middle School, Multipurpose room, 9329 Cemetery Road.

Tuesday, Sept. 8: Seattle, 1-5 p.m., Puget Sound Regional Council headquarters, 1011 Western Ave., suite 500.

Source: State Transportation Commission

After a two-year freeze on ferry fares, the Washington Transportation Commission is considering raising all fares 2.5 percent on Oct. 11.

The fare increase was proposed by Washington State Ferries as a way to raise money for the financially troubled ferry system.

Public hearings on the proposal will be held around Puget Sound, and a final hearing will be held Sept. 8 in Seattle, when commissioners are expected to vote on the proposal.

Among other ferry proposals:

• The tollbooth surcharge would be eliminated for multiride fare purchases.

• To help with fare equality, the San Juan inter-island fares would be increased another 5 percent on top of the 2.5 percent increase.

• Instead of the ferry service paying fire districts for fire protection at terminals, fire districts on emergency calls would get free passage on ferries.

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