Kitsap Fast Ferries Inaugurates Bremerton-Seattle Service

July 18, 2017
Kitsap Transit began passenger ferry service between Bremerton and Seattle, a big milestone after more than a decade of work.

Kitsap Transit began passenger ferry service July 10 between Bremerton and Seattle, a big milestone after more than a decade of work.

The first sailing from Bremerton at 5:40 a.m. carried 78 passengers, while the first sailing from Seattle at 6:15 a.m. had 69. Here are the passenger counts on July 10's 12 sailings:

Scheduled departure time

Departed  from

Passenger Count

5:40 AM



6:15 AM



6:50 AM



7:25 AM



8:00 AM



8:35 AM



3:25 PM



4:00 PM



4:35 PM



5:15 PM



5:50 PM



6:25 PM



“It’s a great day for the people of Kitsap County,” Clauson said. “We now have a half- hour connection to downtown Seattle for Bremerton,  and in the not-too-distant future, Kingston  and Southworth  too.”“We are very pleased so many people rode on the first day of passenger service,” said Kitsap Transit Executive Director John Clauson, who talked with riders on Monday.

The Kingston-Seattle  service is slated to begin next summer, Southworth-Seattle  in 2020. Monday’s launch comes more than a decade since Kitsap Transit began work to restore a fast-ferry service. In September  2003, Washington  State Ferries ended passenger-only  ferry service between Bremerton  and Seattle after property  owners along Rich Passage sued the state over damage to beaches they blamed on the state’s large passenger-only ferries.

“Kitsap Transit owes a debt of gratitude  to a lot of people who worked hard to make this day happen,”  Clauson said.

Under Richard Hayes, former executive director of Kitsap Transit, the agency assumed a federal wake-research grant,  developed a prototype research vessel called the Rich Passage 1 and organized leaders in Kitsap County to get behind the effort, Clauson said.

After assuming the federal grant from the state, Kitsap Transit received critical support  from Norm Dicks, then a U.S. Congressman, and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray in securing additional federal funding  to continue wake research and build the Rich Passage 1, Clauson said.

On the state level, Kitsap Transit enjoyed strong support from its legislative delegation in a 2015 transportation revenue  package, Clauson said, including  Senators Jan Angel and Christine  Rolfes. Sen. Angel was the prime sponsor of a provision that enables local transit entities like Kitsap Transit to create voter-approved ferry districts.

And on the local level, leaders like Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent and the Friends  of the Fast Ferry group — led by Steve Sego, Coreen Haydock, Wes Larson, Jon Rose and Jeremy Stitt – helped Kitsap Transit build community awareness of the fast-ferry plan, which voters approved last November.

Clauson said he also appreciated the Kitsap Transit board’s ongoing support for the project over the many years it took to bring to fruition.

On Monday, July 10, Kitsap Transit offered passengers  a selection of branded promotional gifts — a tote bag, foldable water bottle, lunch sack, cellphone wallet, or sunglasses.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Clauson said, “but it’s worth taking a moment to pause and say, ‘We did it.’”

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