File photo

WSF cuts BI, Kingston to 1 boat each due to staff shortages

Help wanted for deckhands, attendants

Washington State Ferries is looking for deckhands, oilers and terminal attendants.

Beginning Oct. 16, Washington State Ferries will temporarily operate reduced schedules on most routes in efforts to provide more predictable and reliable travel.

That includes on Bainbridge Island and Kingston, which are both reduced to one boat instead of two. Crew shortages have sometimes led to last-minute ferry cancellations, frustrating riders.

According to a WSF news release Oct. 14, the change is necessary because of a global shortage of mariners. The severe staff shortages are due to many variables, including an aging workforce, COVID-19 cases and quarantines.

“Given what has happened to the response to calls to fill positions on recent weekends, WSF feels there is too much uncertainty to continue the schedule at this moment,” the release states. “WSF will continue to evaluate and strive to return additional boats back into service on a daily basis. Ferry customers are encouraged to monitor the agency website, the WSDOT app and social media channels for updates.”

Route changes

Starting Oct. 16, the following sailing schedules will be in operation:

Seattle/Bainbridge, Edmonds/Kingston and Mukilteo/Clinton: One-boat service instead of two

Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth: Two-boat schedule instead of three

Anacortes/San Juan Islands: Three-boat schedule instead of four with temporary suspension of vehicle reservations

Seattle/Bremerton: Continued reduced one-boat service instead of two

Point Defiance/Tahlequah: Continued one-boat service as normal

Port Townsend/Coupeville: Continued one-boat service with vehicle reservations as normal for this time of year

Although COVID has not allowed WSF to hire or train new recruits at the same rate as prior to the pandemic, more than 150 new crewmembers have been brought on this year. Prior to COVID, WSF hired new crewmembers once a year leading into the busy season. The system is now continuously recruiting new employees but is struggling to find qualified mariners. WSF is also expanding its recruitment efforts with maritime academies across the country.

Reduced schedules

M-F Leaves BI: 4:45, 6:20, 7:55, 9:40, 11:30 a.m.; 1:15, 2:55, 4:45, 6:40, 8:20, 10, 1:30 p.m.

M-F Leaves Seattle: 5:30, 7:05, 8:45, 10:40 a.m.; 12:25, 2:05, 3:50, 5:45, 7:30, 9:20, 10:50 p.m.; 12:15 a.m.

Daily Leaves Kingston: 4:45, 6:25, 7:55, 9:35, 11:05 a.m.; 12:45, 2:30, 4, 5:30, 7, 8:20, 9:40, 11:10 p.m.

Daily Leaves Edmonds: 5:35, 7:10, 8:50, 10:20, 11:55 a.m.; 1:35, 3:15, 4:45, 6:15, 7:40, 9:05, 10:25, 11:45 p.m.

Check www.wsdot.com/Ferries/Schedule for BI-Seattle weekend schedule.

More in News

BI wants ferry service restored

Bainbridge Island wants its ferry system back. The city is sending a… Continue reading

.
Halloween events in BI

Four Halloween events are taking place on Bainbridge Island as the spooky… Continue reading

The current skate park is for those with advanced abilities. File Photo
BI park prepares for major remodel

Also, COVID vax for all parks users?

The Bainbridge Island City Council will have a public meeting to decide on improvements on Eagle Harbor Drive. This idea was shot down because of how crowded it would be with cyclists and walkers on the same side going in different directions.
Environment not as important on this project

Safety concerns override that on Eagle Harbor plan

.
It’s a gamble not getting COVID vaccine

Many people still are not get vaccinated to protect themselves and others… Continue reading

Eldon Van Liere stands next to his late wife's painting of Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, where they often traveled together. Tyler Shuey/Bainbridge Island Review
BI artist’s work lives on after her passing

Bainbridge Island artist Elizabeth Van Liere passed away in 2020 and some… Continue reading

The author of this book will be in Bainbridge. Courtesy Photo
Bainbridge Island briefs

Protest exhibit The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum is opening a new exhibit… Continue reading

Roundabouts on Highway 305 divided the Bainbridge Island City Council candidates at a recent debate. Courtesy Illustration
LWV’s debate features rapid-fire answers

Compared with two earlier debates last week, Bainbridge Island City Council candidates… Continue reading

Most Read