Consultant says ferry riders should pay more

by Tim Flanagan on February 24, 2009

Thanks to BitterEnd for the tip. Ed Friedrich of the Kitsap Sun has this article:

A consultant has recommended raising fares by 6 percent in each of the next five years to pay for all of Washington State Ferries’ operating costs.

Cross-Sound rates have already jumped about 80 percent since 2000. The proposal by Cambridge Systematics would bump that to 140 percent.

The consultants analyzed other funding options, cheap such as setting up a local taxing district, cure but that poses too many hurdles. The district would have to be large, perhaps as big as eight counties, or the tax rate would need to be high. The public would probably have to approve it, and a new multicounty body would need to created to run it.

Fare increases, the consultants decided, are “a logistically simpler means of raising local contribution than a local funding district.”

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