The King County Ferry District has signed a contract with Bellingham-based All American Marine to design and build two new water taxis to replace its pair of 25 year-old leased vessels.
The new vessels will each carry 250 passengers, 78 more than the vessels they will replace. That added capacity means more passengers will be able to use the water taxis during the busiest weekday commute periods.
“These new passenger ferry boats, funded almost entirely by grants, will allow us to provide more reliable and cost-effective service on our ferry routes to Vashon and West Seattle,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.
The new catamarans will have wider doors which will help speed boarding and unloading. The vessels will also increase bicycle capacity from 18 to 26 and offer greater comfort for passengers.
Design and construction of the two vessels is expected to cost $11.8 million, 80 percent of which is funded by the Federal Transit Administration. Construction is expected to start during the first quarter of 2014.
The first vessel will be delivered by mid-2015 followed by delivery of the second vessel in late 2015.
Press Release, December 25, 2013