Ferry Tales: Trolling and Tolling

Ticket surcharge. Guemes Ferry Taxing District. Fare Increase. Evacuation specification.

All of these elements of the new ferry proposal could well cost Guemes residents hundreds if not thousands of dollars more per year for a potentially reduced level of service (just one run per hour).

What is happening to our small island community? Does Skagit County even realize they may be pricing us off our Island home. All because they want the glory of being “first“ to have an electric ferry? Actually I think they do.

47 properties sold or changed hands in 2017. More than in previous years. Those new property owners as well as all property owners could very easily have their property taxes increased by hundreds of dollars annually. In addition, assessment values will increase each year for 2018 and beyond.

Will the ferry taxing district be on a ballot? No. Only one public meeting is needed and the County Commissioners will decide. Why tax just a tiny portion (less than 2%) of the county population when this is a County ferry, committed to serving anyone who wishes to cross. We all pay for bridges in parts of the County we never go. Is that what the county is proposing - we all pay for our own infrastructure? Do they plan to pull a similar toll on every bridge and roadway?

With every prior fare increase, walk-on travel increases. A second car is often put into play. This equates to growing parking issues on both sides. License and insurance for a second vehicle increases cost for ferry rider. Will a parking fee be in our future? Or tickets, if we must park on the streets of Anacortes.

We now pay a surcharge now for 'peak travel'. Will this new ferry surcharge be be added to the 'peak' surcharge?

Will the new ferry surcharge apply to walk-on passengers?

Absurd evacuation specifications add significantly to the cost of a new ferry design. Do we evacuate everyone or every vehicle? 

- Commentary by MJ Andrak