There's a bit of confusion regarding the 'no show' fee for Washington State Ferries reservations. Here is the explanation from WSF spokesperson Dana Warr:
"At its August meeting, the State Transportation Commission authorized WSF to increase the fees for unused reservations. While the authorization begins on October 1, WSF does not plan to institute it on that date. We will do public outreach before beginning a higher no-show fee."
So to repeat, the 'no-show' fee doesn't go into effect October 1, 2019. What the fee will be increased to has not been decided yet. While WSF has been authorized to increase it up to 100 percent of a one-way fare, the decision on the amount of the increase won't be made until after meetings with the communities.
Before the Transportation Commission meeting, WSF released figures illustrating the problems no-shows are causing.
Looking at the figures by route in 2018, drivers heading to Orcas Island had a no-show rate of 9.2 percent which translates into an average of 33 no-shows per day. The figure for Friday Harbor-bound travel is 2.6 percent rate or about 11 no-shows per day. For Lopez, the statistics are 5 percent and about a third of a space average per day as a no-show.
Drivers going to Anacortes from the San Juans had a no-show rate of 7.9 percent which means almost 80 spaces per day were reserved but not used by the reservation holder.
The two charts below show the figures for all of the reservation routes from 2015-2018 and the statistics by route for the Fiscal year 2018
TOTAL NUMBER OF NO-SHOWS: ALL RESERVATION ROUTES
|Fiscal Year||Secured Reservations||
Avg No-Shows/Day System-wide
|Annual No-Show %|
TOTAL NUMBER OF NO-SHOWS BY RESERVATION ROUTE - FISCAL YEAR 2018
Annual No-Show %
|Port Townsend||144,730||135,145||9,585||26.3||6.6 percent|
|Sidney, B.C.||21,830||20,713||1,117||3.1||5.1 percent|
Connie Tuesday, 17 September 2019 07:37 Comment Link
Please don’t increase the rates for no show. I live in Friday Harbor but work off island. I try to make reservations each time I come and go weekly. There are occasions when I can’t get back and miss my reservation. This would be a financial hardship on me. Life is hard enough!Report
Donny Reitan Monday, 16 September 2019 06:54 Comment Link
The number missing in all of those figures seems to be the actual ridership. While it is apparent there are a lot of reservations with no shows, it does not indicate an actual burden on W.S.F.. I have a hunch that W.S.F.s are selling tickets for those open spaces with no problem. I would like to see proof there is a burden on W.S.F. before they decide to fully double dip, or double dupe, the riders who are already dealing with a less than perfect reservation system.Report
Nancy Noreau Monday, 16 September 2019 05:26 Comment Link
Seems you're blaming the customer for your messed up ferry system.Report
How about a ferry no show fee. If the ferry is late we get the refund. Oh, that's right. . . Sometime there are complications with the ferry so it's not your fault if you are late.
Well ya know, sometimes there are complications for Islanders too. But hey, you're the government so that's just too bad for us.
How about double the no show for non-residents and spare the residents. We go off island for a reason 90% of the time, not pleasure. If we break down, the Dr. we are seeing is running late, we get stuck behind a wreck . . . Etc. . . then tough on us.
At the very least, and I mean VERY LEAST, give us 3 feeless no shows a year. I think that is a decent compromise.
Doris M. Sumner Sunday, 15 September 2019 21:45 Comment Link
These statistics prove to me, and should prove to the world, THE WSF RESERVATION SYSTEM DOES NOT WORK!!! The added level of personal stress involved to obtain a reservation, and then the fear of unexpected change in plans due to circumstances beyond one's control causing you to miss the ferry, requiring you to pay a fine if you are a "no-show", IS JUST NOT FAIR!!! The added expense is unconscionable!!! CAN WE JUST GO BACK TO "THE GOOD OLD DAYS" BEFORE RESERVATIONS? If you want/need to travel on the ferry, show up at a reasonable time and usually you are successful. If appointments take longer than expected or you find something delightful do spontaneously, DO IT!!! Take the next available ferry without fear of being FINED. The ferries were user friendly prior to the reservation system. Now if you reach the ticket booth 1 minute less than the 30 minute deadline before scheduled sailing time, you can lose your reservation and can be sent to the back of the line. (There has never been any penalty to WSF for not being on time.) Please, rather than increasing fines, PLEASE REMOVE THE RESERVATION SYSTEM!!! BTW: How much does it cost to operate the reservation system?Report