Pierce County residents are invited to two community meetings to learn about potential changes to the ferry sailing schedule to improve service.
A menu of possible service changes has been created with input from the community, and the options ultimately selected could be implemented as early as January 2013. Not all of the available options will be implemented.
“Our goal is to enhance access to and from Anderson and Ketron islands while maintaining the current costs of operating the ferries,” said Deb Wallace, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities airport and ferry administrator. “We hope to make changes that will meet the needs of our ferry passengers.”
The following community meetings have been scheduled:
Oct. 29, 6 p.m. at Steilacoom Town Hall, 1717 Lafayette St.
Nov. 9, 6 p.m. at the Anderson Island Community Clubhouse, 11319 Yoman Road
A list of options is available at www.piercecountywa.org/ferry. Those unable to attend may submit comments at www.piercecountywa.org/ferryfeedback.
The schedule options were developed using the results of a ferry passenger survey that was completed in May, and recommendations developed by Pierce County staff and the Pierce County Ferry Committee.
“The set of options that we ultimately implement will be cost neutral or reduce the cost of overall service,” said Wallace. “A change that would increase costs, such as adding a run, will have to be offset by another option that makes up for that increase.”
If implemented, a service change could include some trade-offs in service. For example, one option would eliminate the 5:45 a.m. first run on Saturday in exchange for extending the service on Saturday night.
Another option under consideration would add later service one weeknight per week. Extended service would offer students the opportunity to participate in evening activities at their school. The most favored evening, according to the survey, is Thursday.
The Pierce County Ferry System provides service between the town of Steilacoom, Anderson Island and Ketron Island. More information about the system is available at www.piercecountywa.org/ferry.