Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sidney Ferry Run Slated to be Cut...


The ferry run between Anacortes and Sidney is scheduled to be eliminated under Gov. Christine Gregoire's proposed state budget.

The ferry, which operates from early spring until the first week in January, carried 113,000 passengers last year — the lowest in the system, with just half a percent of total ferry ridership.
The state has been operating the route since 1951, when it took the system over from the Black Ball line.

Dropping the route will save $9.2 million, eliminating 35 jobs, Gregoire said in her budget. According to budget documents, service between Anacortes and Sidney will stop at the end of next summer. David Moseley, head of the state ferry system, said eliminating the Sidney run "seemed to be the best way to achieve the cost savings we needed with the least impact on overall customers." He said Sidney is an expensive route to run despite the higher ticket cost. Because it is so long, it uses a lot of fuel.

As we all know the ferry is an important part of the local economy and the elimination of the run represents bad economic news for both Sidney and Anacortes. Hopefully there will be some more opportunity to comment on the proposed budget.

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