Ferries Article – January 2017

May 27, 1951 the Seattle Times ran an article about the transition of the ferries from private to State owenership.

“As the brightness of morning grows, and the ferryboat system throughout the sound comes to life for the day, crews will begin painting over the orange-colored stacks of the vessels with green.”seattle times





“State Will Take Control of Ferries Friday Morning” by Ross Cunningham, Associate Editor, The Times”

“In Friday’s early0morning darkness, about 2:30 o’clock, the Puget Sound Navigation Company’s ferryboat Enetai will warp around the dolphins in the ever-swirling tide at the Bremerton terminal and discharges its load of passengers, vehicles, and freight.

About three hours later at, 5:20 o’clock, the Washington State Ferries Vashon will load at Lofall and shove off for South Point across Hood Canal.

As the brightness of morning grows, and the ferryboat system throughout the Sound comes to life for the day, crews will begin painting over the orange-colored stacks of the vessels with green.

At the Colman Terminal in Seattle, Capt. Alex M. Peabody, president of the company, will move from his paneled office to a new one in Pier 53, the next dock to the north. Floyd McDowell, manager of the state system will move into the office vacated by Peabody. A few company employees will transfer with Peabody. The rest of the personnel of the system will become state employees. The change- over, from a private operation of the ferryboat system to state membership, will have been completed. The Eneini’s early-morning arrival at Bremerton will mark the end of the company’s 53 years of serving Puget Sound points. The Lofall departure will mark the beginning of state operation.

The formal time of change-over will be 3 o’clock Friday morning, when the ferry system is at a standstill. Cash in the hands of ticket-sellers will be turned over to the company. New cash will go to the state. The same employees will be doing the same things as in the past—except that they will be working for the state instead of the company.

While most schedules will remain the same, a few will be stepped up, and one will be curtailed sharply.

Bainbridge Island will have a later departure from Seattle to take care of after-theater and late-hour travelers. At present the last departure for Winslow is at 11:20 o’clock, except on Friday and Saturdays, when the last departure is at midnight. Under state operation, there will be a 12:30 o’clock departure every night from the Colman Terminal.

A third boat will be assigned to the Fauntleroy-Vashon Heights-Harper service to increase frequency of trips. Additionally trips will be operated on Sunday afternoons in the Lopez and Orcas Island routes in the San Juan Islands.

A second vessel is to be assigned June 15 to the Lofall South Point crossing. Two boats will be used during peak traffic periods on the Edmonds-Kingston route. The company has been doing this during most traffic peaks. The state’s plans are to use every ferryboat available to reduce waiting time, which will call for considerable switching around. The Mukilteo- Columbia Beach service is to have stepped-up service on weekends.

The curtailment will be immediate on the Seattle-Indianola-Suquamish route. Starting Friday, service will be reduced to three round trips Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. There will be no service on this route Saturdays and Sundays. Present plans are to discontinue the route entirely in the fall.

Fares will not be changed.”


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