WA: Kitsap Transit Seeking Input Via Online Fast Ferry Survey

June 09--BREMERTON -- Kitsap Transit launched an online community survey Monday to help guide development of a business plan and long-range strategy for potential passenger-only ferry service between Kitsap County and downtown Seattle.

The agency, working with KPFF Consulting Engineers, will evaluate connections to Seattle from Bremerton, Kingston and Southworth.

Kitsap Transit took the lead on developing passenger-only ferry service in 2003 when Washington State Ferries discontinued the popular Bremerton-Seattle boats Chinook and Snoqualmie because of funding cuts and beach damage caused by their wakes. They made the crossing in 30 minutes, half the time of car ferries.

In 2012, a study funded by the federal government through Kitsap Transit showed a low-wake ferry the agency had designed, built and tested, the Rich Passage 1, could operate in Rich Passage without harming the shoreline.

The comprehensive business plan and long-range strategy, including recommendations, will complete the research, and are being paid for with research funding. They'll be presented to the transit board of commissioners in September. Kitsap Transit has no money to operate the ferry service.

The survey will be available online until June 25. Call 800-501-7433 to complete it over the phone or in other languages. Plan updates and information will be posted at www.kitsaptransit.com/passenger-only-ferry-business-plan.

"It's important we hear from residents in order to plan effective service that meets community needs," Kitsap Transit Executive Director John Clauson said. "What we learn from the survey will help to inform the business plan, including recommendations for routes, service priorities and fare programs."

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