Guemes Island Ferry Replacement Project
When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28
Where: Guemes Island Community Center – 7549 Guemes Island Road
What: Ferry replacement project, vessel replacement surcharge, ferry fare revenue target report
Who: Skagit County Board of Commissioners, Public Works, Glosten
We encourage all Skagit County residents to attend. Board of Commissioners Chair Ken Dahlstedt and Commissioner Ron Wesen, along with Public Works staff and a Glosten representative, will be present to discuss agenda items with Guemes Island and county residents.
Ferry replacement project
- County Ferry Capital Improvement Program grant
- SEPA review update
- 28-car ferry preliminary cost estimate
Vessel replacement surcharge
- Public comment
Ferry fare revenue target report
- The 2018 draft report will be presented
- No fare increase recommended
VESSEL REPLACEMENT SURCHARGE
The Board of Skagit County Commissioners has determined that the M/V Guemes has reached the end of its useful and economic life and needs to be replaced. The Board is considering implementing a ferry vessel replacement surcharge (per RCW 36.54.200). The Board is considering implementing a County vessel replacement surcharge of $1.00 per adult passenger fare sold, $0.50 per senior/youth/disabled passenger fare sold, $1.00 per motorcycle fare sold, $2.00 per vehicle fare sold and $5.00 per oversize vehicle fare sold. Frequent user punch card prices would be adjusted and discounted accordingly. Other proposed changes to the fare schedule include extending the expiration of vehicle punch cards from 90 days to 120 days and eliminating the fee for bicycles.
- Presentation to the Board of County Commissions (4/17/18)
- Handout Information (4/17/18)
- Resolution R20180070-Call for Public Hearing
- Legal Notice-Call for Public Hearing
- Proposed Rate Schedule
- Proposed Surcharge Revenue
- Skagit County vessel replacement surcharge Q&A
- Notice of Public Comment Opportunity
Ferry concept design reports released
- Concept Design Report
- Concept Design Drawing - General Arrangement
- Concept Design Drawings - Structure
- Vessel Capacity Study
- Transportation System Assessment
- 32-Car Ferry Engineer’s Cost Estimate
- 28-Car Ferry Engineer’s Cost Estimate
- January 25, 2018 Presentations: Skagit County | Glosten
- November 2, 2017 Presentations: Skagit County | Glosten
- Audio from November 2, 2017 Community Meeting [.MP3 110MB]
Presentation to the Board of County Commissioners November 21, 2017
Glosten presented details of the concept design report and cost estimate to the Board of Skagit County Commissioners on November 21. The video and PowerPoint presentation are now available.
About the project
Skagit County has operated a vehicle and passenger ferry service between Anacortes and Guemes Island, WA since the early 1960s. The current vessel, the M/V GUEMES, is a 21-vehicle, 99-passenger, diesel-powered ferry that was built and put into service in 1979. Today, the ferry operates 365 days a year and transports roughly 200,000 vehicles and 400,000 passengers annually.
There are no alternative roads or highways that provide access to Guemes Island; as such, the Skagit County ferry system serves as a vital transportation link for its ridership. In addition to transporting commuters, the ferry also carries tourist traffic, construction and logging trucks, essential services trucks and emergency vehicles and personnel to and from the Island.
In the last few years, haul-out and dry dock costs have increased substantially. Since 2014, the Ferry Division has spent nearly half of its annual $2.5 million operating budget on maintenance of the vessel and associated machinery and repair projects. This has become increasingly burdensome on Skagit County’s road fund with the annual subsidy from that fund contributing approximately $1 million per year in the last few years.
In 2013, Skagit County began the process of studying vessel replacement when they hired Elliott Bay Design Group to publish a Ferry Replacement Plan for the M/V GUEMES. The study looked at the existing cost of operation then formulated replacement scenarios to determine the most economic replacement option. The conclusion was that immediate or near-term replacement of the vessel will minimize the overall cost of ownership and provide environmental improvements in vessel operation.
Skagit County has determined a need to replace its diesel-powered vehicle and passenger ferry. If constructed, an all-electric vessel would potentially reduce operational and maintenance costs, increase energy independence and reduce harmful CO2 (Carbon dioxide) air emissions by 619,359 kg. A propulsion/feasibility study, completed by Art Anderson Associates in 2016, concluded, that based on power requirements, “…an all-electric propulsion system for a new concept vessel to replace the M/V GUEMES is highly feasible for this particular route and its unique environmental conditions…It is recommended that all-electric propulsion be considered for the design of a replacement vessel that will provide safe and reliable service.”
Currently, no state in the U.S. operates an all-electric vehicle ferry; however, the technology has been proven in Norway. Development of the all-electric ferry demonstrates that Skagit County and Washington State are technology leaders willing to invest in safe, environmentally conscious, clean energy projects that benefit both the local community and the global environment.
Captain Rachel Rowe
Ferry Operations Division Manager
Skagit County Public Works
Anacortes Terminal - 500 I Ave. Anacortes, WA 98221Community Feedback Form
Ferry Office: (360) 293-6433 Cell: (360) 333-1496
Direct Line: (360) 416-1466 Fax: (360) 293-1899