Kitsap Transit

There are so many important commute improvement efforts underway that impact Kitsap and South Sound commuters so I compiled a  list as I know it now. Take this all with a grain of salt because these are always changing. This is likely not an complete list. if you see something I missed, please comment or email!

February 21, 2019 – 167/405 Flyover ramp opens

March 11, 2019New Kitsap Transit Routed Bus Updates

March 23, 2019 – Buses in Seattle transit tunnels move to surface/re-routed

April 2019 – New Triangle Route (Southworth/Vashon/Fauntleroy) goes into effect. This aligns the schedules for the Southworth/Vashon Ferry and Vashon Water Taxi.

Spring 2019 – Amtrak Cascades back to using the Pt. Defiance bypass and Tacoma Dome Station.

Summer 2019 – New Foot Ferry dock opens in Seattle

2019 – New Kitsap Transit routed bus schedules begin including #86, allowing for Port Orchard Out, Southworth in or vice versa

Late 2019/Early 2020 – Bremerton 2nd and 3rd boat go into operation (3rd boat delivery expected Aug’19 and then wake testing/crew training. Update: 2nd boat now delivered as of 4/9/19!

2020 – I-5/SR-16 HOV Interchange opens

2020 – Southworth Fast Ferry Service Begins

2021Eastside Rail Cooridor Opens

2022 – Hilltop Tacoma Link

2023 – Eastlink Light Rail Opens

2024 – Federal Way Link Light Rail Opens

2024 2 HOV/HOT Lanes + BRT on I405 Opens

2024 – HOV on 16 to I-5 North complete (including Olympic Dr. to Purdy HOV)

2031 – Tolls go away on Tacoma Narrows Bridge

2036 – Sounder South Expansion Projects Complete

2039 – TCC Link Opens

2041 – Issaquah/Kirkland Light Rail Opens (including Richards Rd. and Eastgate Stations)

 

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Tacoma released their feasibility study today for a Fast Ferry from Tacoma to Seattle. In short, they indicated there IS feasibility and evaluated four sites in Tacoma.

Ferry Pic

I’m surprised they didn’t focus more evaluation on Seattle dock options since we know this is already becoming an issue with the Kitsap Fast Ferries. One of the more interesting parts to me was the time from each site. Point Defiance came in at 43 mins while 11th street was 53 mins. This barely saves off time from the Sounder but for those looking to land closer to downtown Tacoma and more northwest in Seattle (assuming Colman dock like the other Fast Ferries), I guess this could be convenient.

I would have liked to see a a route connecting to light rail evaluated as well. Seems like a quick trip to Des Moines with a shuttle to the Angle Lake station would be pretty handy both for those accessing the airport and Seattle (and the entire expanding light rail).

Will be interesting to see what Tacoma does next.

The full feasibility study.

I haven’t let myself get too excited for this one since service won’t start until 2010 but since it was in the news last week that Kitsap Transit has ordered Southworth Fast Ferries, I think its a good time to summarize how optimistic I am about this:

  1. Sailings will take 23 mins from Southworth to Seattle! This is a quicker ride than it used to take me to get from Queen Anne to Downtown.
  2. No reservations needed! – These ships won’t be low wake Catamarans like the one running between Bremerton and Seattle. These vessels will be larger variety like the West Seattle and Vashon Water taxis and the recently added Kingston fast ferry. No reservations is a big deal because this means no requirement to arrive 10 mins early (with a reservation) or 30+ (without reservation).
  3. Multiple vessels expected – similar to the WSF system, 2 vessels will operate simultaneously.  With a 23 mins sailing and 10 min loading/unloading time, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw ferries coming every 35-45 mins.
  4. Parking – Southworth parking is a breeze compared to Bremerton with affordable parking at the dock as well as ample park and ride lots like Harper Church and Mullenix P&Rs.
  5. Backed up nicely by the WSF from Fauntleroy and Vashon – This becomes particularly useful when the new triangle route goes into effect in April 2019.

So let’s get this post out of the way so I can get to the fun stuff. Hi, I’m Ryan. I moved to Gig Harbor from Seattle about 6 months ago. I work at T-Mobile in Bellevue 3-4x days a week and this is going to be my story about my mega-commute journey.

Today’s AM commute

6:25 – Left home

6:50 – Arrived at Port Orchard Foot Ferry Dock

7-7:12 – Foot Ferry to Bremerton

Walking on to the Foot Ferry today I got my first glimpse at the new vessel to be used for the Kingston Fast Ferry, which begins service after Thanksgiving. I can only imagine the Kingston to Seattle commuters are going to be thrilled.

Melissa Anne in Port Orchard

7:20-8:20 Bremerton Washington State Ferry

(This is always my favorite part of the journey. Great time for pretty much anything… working, walking, coffee, beers, etc. I’m always amazed on how many people I see sleeping down on one side of the booth seating. Maybe I’ll get it after awhile. So far I’ve been unable to sleep on any commute.

8:29-8:55 554E to Eastgate FWY Station

8:55-9 Walk to Eastgate P&R

9:05-9:10 271 Bus to 158th/Eastgate

(Attempted the new Ride2 service, which looked like it would be great timing but as I sat there waiting, my plan b (271 bus) showed up so I took the “bird in hand”. Sidenote: I used Ride2 a week ago scoring a backup as one of the first riders and it worked great getting me from work to Eastgate P&R. I’ll give it a few more tries.

9:10-9:15 Walk from bus stop to office. Arrived!

Total Time:  2:50 mins.

In my old office I was satisfied if I cracked the 2 hour mark. Now being further east I’ll be shooting for 2:20.

Learnings/Fun Facts:

  1. Try the 8am Fast Ferry to shave off :30 With my new office, bus connections aren’t so much of an issue since the 212, 217 and 554 all hit the Eastgate P&R or FWY Station.
  2. Ride2 is great when it works. I submitted the ride from the app in between Mercer Island and Eastgate today. Perhaps try calling it while ON Mercer Island or sooner. This could shave 5 mins waiting and 5 mins walking. Whiteboard strategy session with coworker below with a similar problem coming from Seattle. Also in play are the company shuttles that run between HQ/Sunset/3305 buildings all around Eastgate. Other options include Lyft (subsidized by TMO), Limebike and walking when all else fails from Eastgate.IMG_4877.jpg
  3. Today I went through 3 counties (Pierce, Kitsap and King).

All in all a good commute and fitting first post since I used the 4 different public transportation agencies:

  • Kitsap Transit
  • WSF
  • Sound Transit (554)
  • KC Metro (271)

That’s it for now.  Car is in Port Orchard so plan is to return back via WSF this PM unless I somehow score a 5:10 Fast Ferry reservation, which is the hardest Ferry ticket in town. :/