Ferry Sailing Schedule Changes

As a reminder (I wanted to make sure to include this note because there has been some confusion, and people have indicated they are not pleased with the peak rates going in to effect, but not the peak schedule):

All punch cards can be used during the peak or non-peak season. Note: the 10-trip vehicle & driver or 10-trip vehicle & senior/disabled driver punch card can be used any time peak or non-peak too (even if the card says “cannot be used during peak season”).

That is one of the changes we made in response to COVID-19 in an effort to promote the use of punch cards. In addition, the 10-trip punch cards, sold at the non-peak rates, currently do not expire. So, those who purchase 10-trip punch cards pay the non-peak vehicle and driver fares during the peak season.

- Ferry Manager

What is the sailing schedule for Memorial Day weekend?

The sailing schedule for Memorial Day weekend will be as follows:

Friday, May 22: 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 23: 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 24: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day): NO HOLIDAY SCHEDULE, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Why is there no holiday sailing schedule on Memorial Day?

Due to COVID-19, we do not anticipate high ridership on May 25, so we will operate on our regular sailing schedule.

Why is the non-peak sailing schedule staying in effect through summer?

Monday through Friday, the peak and non-peak sailing schedules are identical.

Typically, we move to a peak season schedule this time of year to add extra weekend trips to accommodate additional visitors and tourists on the island. Due to COVID-19, we are seeing decreased ferry utilization, not only on our ferry but on other ferries in the region. Additionally, given the Health Officer’s recommendation that all large scale summer events be cancelled, we are expecting to see below average weekend ridership throughout the summer. If the Health Officer’s recommendations change, we can re-evaluate.

Why did peak season fares go in to effect on May 20 and the peak season sailing schedule did not?

The ferry system relies on fares to keep service in effect. We want to continue to provide service during the pandemic, and we realize how important that is for our ridership.

As a reminder, if you use a punch card, you don't pay more during the peak season. If you are concerned about peak season rates, please consider buying a punch card. They offer a safe and convenient way to pay. You can even validate your own punch card (with your own hole puncher, sharpie or regular pen). The Purser must see you do it and there is no physical contact required. Punch cards are also easy to purchase through the mail using our online order form; again, no physical contact required.

How does Skagit County make decisions about the ferry schedule and fares?

COVID-19 is unprecedented, and we are making decisions based on guidance from Skagit County Public Health and what we think the best path forward is for the ferry community. We have talked with other transit agencies who are facing similar challenges and implementing modified sailing schedules in response.

If you would like to provide comment or feedback on the ferry schedule or fares, please email ferrycomments@co.skagit.wa.us.

Tags: ferry