With weather forecasters promising another warm holiday weekend ahead of next week’s broad return to school schedules, state transportation officials are urging motorists to pack some patience for their trips.
More than 400,000 people are projected to ride a ferry over the next five days. That’s equal to six sellout crowds at CenturyLink Field for a Seahawks game – and part of the reason passengers should allow for extra travel time during the Labor Day weekend.
That estimate comes in the midst of some of the highest ridership numbers in more than a decade, despite several disruptions this summer for vessel repairs. With the Hyak, Salish and Samish currently out of service, the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route is on a reduced two-boat schedule to balance service needs across the system.
Washington State Ferries expects many holiday weekend passengers to be sailing westbound today, Aug. 31, and tomorrow, then returning eastbound Monday, Sept. 4, as they return from their holiday getaways. There will be additional service Monday on most routes, but passengers should still expect crowds and lines during peak travel times.
The predictions for massive traffic congestion on freeway routes to and from eastern Washington are also widespread.