Computer problems vex ferry M/V Tacoma

The loss of the ferry M/V Tacoma for much of Sunday from the Bainbridge Island-Seattle route was due to a computer glitch, according to Washington State Ferries.

Ferry spokesman Ian Sterling said the preliminary cause of the Tacoma’s problems this past weekend came from propulsion control alarms related to the vessel’s 1990s-era computer system.

The Tacoma missed three-round trips on Sunday, July 16 from Bainbridge to Seattle.

One-boat service to the island prompted wait times of up to three hours for drivers on the route by 1 p.m. Sunday.

The Tacoma returned to the Bainbridge run with the 6:20 p.m. sailing Sunday from Seattle to Bainbridge.

The Tacoma is a Jumbo Mark II class vessel built 20 years ago. It can hold 202 vehicles and up to 2,499 passengers.

A happy ending is in sight for the ferry, which has been pulled from service multiple times in the past month for repairs.

“The good news is we now have funding to update the system this biennium. Tacoma will be the first of the Mark 2s to get the work,” Sterling said.

Travelers on the Bainbridge route weren’t the only ferry riders to face long lines this weekend.

The ferry M/V Yakima was taken off the Anacortes-San Juan route on Sunday, July 16 after a problem was discovered with the vessel’s generator.

Reduced service on that route continued through Tuesday.

It has been a rough week for travelers and ferries staff all around, that’s for sure,” Sterling said.