The Washington Ferry Coalition brings together people and businesses that recognize the importance of an efficient ferry system to fill the transportation needs of Western Washington and serve as an economic asset for the entire state.
5th 144-Car Needed for Aging Fleet
Vigor Shipyards in Seattle is currently building the Suquamish, the fourth successive new ferry for Washington since 2011.
Two Washington state ferries are approaching 60 years old, and four other ferries are 50 years old. Most other fleets in North America replace vessels well before age 50. Keeping Washington’s current ferry-build program going with a fifth Olympic Class 144-car ferry will provide another vessel that the system needs, will save money and will generate hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in economic activity.
The state transportation system and ferry communities need reliable ferries, the economy and workers need the jobs that ferry construction provides and the maritime industry and state need to retain a skilled blue-collar workforce.
Extending the ferry-build contract for a fifth ferry will avoid a costly lapse in construction and provide a needed ferry years sooner.
WFC members continue to advocate for timely replacement of older ferries to ensure the ferries remain a vital link for transportation, commerce and the economy as Washington’s marine highway.
Click on the graph below to learn more about the age of the 22 vessels in the Washington state ferry fleet and the $270 million in backlogged preservation costs that make it difficult for ferries to meet their projected service life.