Washington looking for ideas on naming next state ferry

The deadline is quickly approaching for suggestions on the name of Washington state's next 144-car ferry.

The Washington State Transportation Commission is asking people from across the state to get involved and submit proposals for the new boat’s name.

But time is running out, and ferry name proposals will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12.

All submittals must conform to state guidelines. Proposals must also include background information on the proposed name and proof of widespread public support, commonly done via local press stories, letters of support from local/regional/ state bodies and officials, local petitions, and any other appropriate supportive information.

Name proposals should be sent to: Washington State Transportation Commission, PO Box 47308, Olympia, WA 98504-7308, or to

The commission has established the following guidelines to assess ferry name proposals:

Names for ferries should carry statewide significance and represent our state’s image and culture.

Specifically, names should represent such things as: state-adopted symbols, tribal names, names of bodies of water, geographic locations, cities, counties, relate to nautical heritage, etc.

Consideration will be given to the consistency with existing Washington State Ferries fleet names.

Names should have broad familiarity, be non‐offensive and meet ethical standards.

Names with commercial overtones or names honoring or commemorating individuals should be avoided, but will be considered upon very careful review.

Following the Sept. 12 deadline, the transportation commission will begin its review and public comment process for the eligible name proposals. This will include input from Washington State Ferries, the Ferry Advisory Committee Executive Council and the general public.

The final selection of the name will occur at the commission’s Nov. 19 meeting in Lakewood.

Many of the 23 vessels in Washington State Ferries’ fleet have names reflecting the state’s tribal, geographic and historic heritage. The most recently named vessels – Samish and Tokitae – are in keeping with that tradition.

Additional information on ferry naming can be found on the commission website at


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