Ferry Manager's Response To Survey
Thank you for sharing the results of the survey – I appreciate the feedback, and I know that Arrow Launch has seen this as well. We will go through this comment by comment to see what can be improved upon. I believe the crew, both the Arrow Launch Captains and staff, and our Deckhands, do an amazing job. We all put an enormous amount of effort in to the service, and we try to keep the cost down as much as possible. We are always under so much pressure to keep fares low. One question that I wish would have been asked is if people would be willing to pay higher fares in order to increase the level of service provided.
Future costs for increased levels of service would be dependent on what improvements are made. One of the questions the survey asked was, “Do you want the County to find another passenger ferry or substitute car ferry?” Both of these options would come at a considerable cost. Most passenger vessels cannot accommodate the configuration and weight of our ramps and aprons like the STRAIT ARROW can, unless the vessel is modified to do so. Finding another passenger vessel would require the provision of temporary floating docks and ramps. Therefore, a surcharge on passenger tickets during the haul-out may not be sufficient. Of course, a back-up car ferry would be a much higher cost; it might make more sense to consider a general fare increase to pay for that level of service. Having said that, the Board of Skagit County Commissioners would ultimately decide on future rate structures following recommendations from the Public Works Department and a public meeting/hearing.
And, just so folks have an idea of the cost & revenue for the current passenger-only service, here are the figures:
Expenditure for passenger-only service, March 1-31 = $93,000.
Fare Box Revenue, March 1-31 = $23,523.
Captain Rachel Rowe
Ferry Operations Division Manager
Skagit County Public Works
Anacortes Terminal - 500 I Ave. Anacortes, WA 98221
Ferry Office: (360) 293-6433 Cell: (360) 333-1496
Direct Line: (360) 416-1466 Fax: (360) 293-1899