More than 50% of Washington state's ferry fleet is to be retired and replaced with newbuilds over the next twenty years under a new long-term plan submitted on Thursday, January 3, to the state Legislature.
According to ferry officials, 16 new ferries would be needed by 2040 in order to provide reliable service, as well as respond to continuing increase in passenger loads and decrease the ferry system's carbon footprint, which is the biggest in the nation. New infrastructure and other facilities will be needed at the ferry terminals.
Image: Port of Anacortes (Washington)
Plan's entire cost is estimated at USD 14.6 billion, with around USD 7.7 billion from dedicated fares and tax revenue. The long-term plan projects a 30% increase in ridership by 2040, which is an increase to nearly 32 million passenger sailings per year. Currently, the ferry system is trying to meet the demand with ageing infrastructure and overburdened fleet.