Ferries

Senator Murray has long been a champion for Washington State Ferries and other publicly-operated ferry systems throughout the state.

Washington State is home to the largest publicly-operated ferry system in the nation. More than 26 million passengers and 11 million vehicles travel by ferry to work, to school, or to visit family and friends each year. It is estimated that ridership will soon grow to 30 million passengers and nearly 13 millions vehicles. As ridership increases, Senator Murray is dedicated to ensuring the Washington State ferry system has the resources it needs to stay on schedule and ensure rider safety.

Despite the critical importance of our ferries, federal investment in ferries pales in comparison to other forms of mass transit. Senator Murray is working to increase federal investment in improving our ferry systems, and successfully worked to secure $5 million in annual funding for Washington State Ferries. In addition, she secured $3 million for ferry research and maintenance.

Senator Murray has been a key leader in the development of a multi-year wake impact study to advanced ferry technology and help mitigate the environmental impact associated with wakes and coastal erosion. The study's results will help shape a plan to address the challenges related to passenger-only fast ferry service through Rich Passage but will be applicable to ferry service routes throughout Washington State. Eventually, these research efforts will culminate into a viable high speed passenger-only fast ferry option that will link Bremerton and downtown Seattle in approximately 30 minutes.