Social distancing aboard WSF ferries Featured

MESSAGE FROM AMY SCARTON of WSF: In the wake of the governor’s recent COVID-19 restrictions, I want to share what we’re doing to help slow the spread of the virus. First off, we will continue to take direction from county, state and national health authorities to protect our customers and employees.

As an extension of the state highway system, we are a vital link for many communities. However, if health officials recommend it, we may limit the number of passengers on a single sailing. We also have plans ready to go to limit service to match demand.

Our vessels are much larger than many other forms of public transit, allowing passengers more opportunity to keep some distance between each other.

We have always followed robust cleaning procedures, including cleaning vessels between each sailing and a deep clean between shifts every eight-to-10 hours.

Handwashing is important and we are fortunate to have restrooms with running water and soap on all our ferries. If riders want to take extra precautions, avoid the busy morning and afternoon commute sailings if possible. Drivers and their passengers can stay in their vehicles during the sailing if they choose.

Finally, health authorities advise that if you are feeling ill or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider and avoid traveling if possible.

A huge thank you to all of our staff and crew for keeping our system running. I also want to thank our customers for their cooperation in this effort – despite our “social distance,” we are all in this together!

- Amy Scarton Assistant Secretary, WSDOT/Ferries Division

20 comments

  • James Little
    James Little Tuesday, 17 March 2020 19:35 Comment Link

    Not to belittle the above but of course don't limit sailings that increases passenger density. People can always limit density even on commuter sailings by standing outside even spaced thru the parked cars. Wear gloves, put them in a bag and wash when you get home. Wash hands directly after touching gloves. Don't follow idiotic statements that masks don't help.... be altruistic ... the mask, even home made cloth masks, will decrease particle transmition from your mouth, because we all are the "spreaders"!!! Step up, protect your fellow travelers and wear a mask.
    All the countries that are ahead of us and getting it under control are doing so....check it out. Be creative.

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  • Ned Hammar
    Ned Hammar Saturday, 14 March 2020 20:44 Comment Link

    Thank you Washington State ferries for staying open. This is a vital link for our communities. To the writer who was critical of the ferry system for staying open--if you want to socially distance yourself, stay down below in your car. COVID is going to run its course, and the extreme measures our governor has already taken at the cost of families (for instance shutting down our schools) is already going to hurt us far more than the virus. FDR said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Right now this fear is being used as a tool against the already-marginalized of our society, and completely ignores the science that this virus is already widespread with low mortality. Let us not be afraid at this critical juncture to embrace each other, figuratively and literally.

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  • James Little
    James Little Saturday, 14 March 2020 16:05 Comment Link

    Not to belittle the above but of course don't limit sailings that increases passenger density. People can always limit density even on commuter sailings by standing outside even spaced thru the parked cars. Wear gloves, put them in a bag and wash when you get home. Wash hands directly after touching gloves. Don't follow idiotic statements that masks don't help.... be altruistic ... the mask, even home made cloth masks, will decrease particle transmition from your mouth, because we all are the "spreaders"!!! Step up, protect your fellow travelers and wear a mask.
    All the countries that are ahead of us and getting it under control are doing so....check it out. Be creative.

    Report
  • Jake
    Jake Saturday, 14 March 2020 11:23 Comment Link

    I work on the ferries and they are a cesspool of germs. STAY IN YOUR CARS. We don’t have the proper cleaning supplies to kill the virus. TRUTH

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  • Vichiro51
    Vichiro51 Saturday, 14 March 2020 09:39 Comment Link

    Just stay in your car. It's that simple. Read a book. Eat a snack. Catch up with someone on a phone call.
    It's not rocket science. People still need to get places.

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  • Lisa
    Lisa Saturday, 14 March 2020 09:22 Comment Link

    As a frequent ferry user I'm grateful for the hardworking people who are interested in keeping the ferries running and this mode of transportation operational. Social distancing is easy when you drive on and simply stay in your car.

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  • Ann
    Ann Saturday, 14 March 2020 05:29 Comment Link

    I'll stay in my car. We don't have that many people who walk on now and they can go up.
    I'd rather do this than not be able to go off when I had to.

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  • Margaret
    Margaret Friday, 13 March 2020 23:25 Comment Link

    The ferries are a necessary part of the Puget Sound transportation system. I have ridden ferries since the outbreak. It is obvious additional cleaning is taking place. Stay in your car! That's all that is needed if you're concerned about exposure. If you're a walk on, maybe you should rethink if you need to go wherever you are going. Non commute times afford lots of space to be 6 feet away from others. I've gone upstairs and it is obvious everyone is aware of social distancing. Keep those ferries running!

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  • Alicia
    Alicia Friday, 13 March 2020 21:58 Comment Link

    I would caution against your way of thinking Alex. The ferries can't determine who's priority is more important than others in a person's ferry commute.
    This so far has not been determined to be a droplet precaution virus. Essentially washing your hands after contact with surfaces that have public contact, and not walking through someone's sneeze is a good way to prevent from getting the virus. And of course the advisory for elderly and immunocompromised
    people staying home is very important until the virus is done making its rounds.
    We can't just cancel 2020.

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  • Ed Dubuque
    Ed Dubuque Friday, 13 March 2020 20:52 Comment Link

    145 cars max. on our Mukilteo- Clinton ferries. Just stay in your car like probably 75% of us do.
    The walk-on's are the ones that need social spacing.

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  • James Bough
    James Bough Friday, 13 March 2020 20:34 Comment Link

    If vehicle passengers stay in their vehicles, I do not see a major problem. The ferry is very large if only the walk-on passengers are the ones allowed on the passenger decks. There would be plenty of room for social distancing.

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  • Brooks Friedland
    Brooks Friedland Friday, 13 March 2020 18:21 Comment Link

    I use the ferry system weekly.
    I plan on staying in my car.
    Thanks for keeping us informed.

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  • Alan
    Alan Friday, 13 March 2020 16:14 Comment Link

    To the employees of WSF THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO FOR US

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  • Lonnie Rasmussen
    Lonnie Rasmussen Friday, 13 March 2020 15:35 Comment Link

    If you cut back on sailings or limit vehicles keep in mind us venders who bring out groceries and supplies for the san jaun islands we should have priority on all sailings

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  • Judy Johnson
    Judy Johnson Friday, 13 March 2020 15:20 Comment Link

    Thank you for your precautions and advice. You cannot please everyone but you can follow the instructions of your chain if command as well as the CDC. I am a frequent WSF traveler and will exercise proper care and hygiene when ever I must travel on the ferries.

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  • Nick
    Nick Friday, 13 March 2020 14:58 Comment Link

    As a frequent passenger, I appreciate my fellow passengers and most important, the crew and all they do for us. Thank You!

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