Dear Friends and Neighbors:
The House and Senate released their respective 2011-13 transportation budgets this week. The chambers took different approaches for Washington State Ferries (WSF), including fare increases, fuel surcharges, fare surcharges, and reduced runs. I have highlighted these differences below (please see chart).
Now that the House and Senate have passed their own transportation budgets, a group of select state lawmakers from each chamber will work out the differences in what is called a conference committee. This final version, which represents around $8.9 billion, will then be voted on in both chambers and, if passed, will be sent to the governor.
I voted for the House transportation budget today because it includes much-needed reforms to our ferry system and puts in place some accountability measures. This budget must continue to reflect that our ferry system represents “marine highways” and that ferries are an important part of our state’s transportation grid.
|2011 fare increase||7.5%||2.5%|
|2012 fare increase||2.5%||2.5%|
|Fuel surcharge||None||$11.6 million|
|$0.25 fare surcharge for capital projects||None||$0.25 on each fare|
|Service reductions||$3.95 million||$3.85 million|
|Mukilteo-Clinton||Eliminate last late-night run||Decision left to WSF|
|Bremerton||Eliminate mid-day service||Decision left to WSF|
|Point Defiance-Tahlequah||Eliminate mid-day and late-night service||Decision left to WSF|
|Anacortes-Sidney||Extend winter schedule||Decision left to WSF|
|Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth||Extend winter schedule||Decision left to WSF|
As a member of the bipartisan ferry caucus, I am working to ensure the best outcomes for our transportation budget. I will keep you updated on what happens and what it will mean for our local ferry runs.
In closing, I would like to thank those of you who attended my three town hall meetings last Saturday. I always appreciate the exchange of ideas and your passion for our communities.
If I can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.