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Old 07-08-2016, 12:29 AM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,639,169 times
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I don't know if this should be in the Seattle subforum or just in Washington's, but I guess it could be moved if it needs to be.

I should note I have never been to Seattle, so bear with me if I sound stupid.

I know that the Puget Sound region has ferries as part of public transportation. I also know that development is heavily skewed towards the East side of the Puget Sound, but the ferries help serve to help people cross the Puget Sound without going all the way around. I also know that Seattle is becoming ridiculously expensive, and traffic on the roads is getting pretty bad.

Looking at Google maps it appears that a lot of the towns on the west side of the Puget Sound that are accessible by ferry (Kingston, Southworth, Bremerton, Vashon Island, Bainbridge Island, Clinton) and the nearby towns are mostly rural. If these towns have a direct access to the Seattle metro area via ferry then why aren't they becoming increasingly developed? Are the ferries expensive and unreliable? Do the ferries take an excessively long time to cross the Puget Sound?

It seems like development into these towns on the other side of the Puget Sound would be a good fight against COL and traffic issues if they can get to Seattle by ferry, so I'm just wondering why it appears that these towns are being ignored over developing suburbs further east from Seattle?
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:53 AM
 
1,350 posts, read 1,881,666 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by :-D View Post
I don't know if this should be in the Seattle subforum or just in Washington's, but I guess it could be moved if it needs to be.

I should note I have never been to Seattle, so bear with me if I sound stupid.

I know that the Puget Sound region has ferries as part of public transportation. I also know that development is heavily skewed towards the East side of the Puget Sound, but the ferries help serve to help people cross the Puget Sound without going all the way around. I also know that Seattle is becoming ridiculously expensive, and traffic on the roads is getting pretty bad.

Looking at Google maps it appears that a lot of the towns on the west side of the Puget Sound that are accessible by ferry (Kingston, Southworth, Bremerton, Vashon Island, Bainbridge Island, Clinton) and the nearby towns are mostly rural. If these towns have a direct access to the Seattle metro area via ferry then why aren't they becoming increasingly developed? Are the ferries expensive and unreliable? Do the ferries take an excessively long time to cross the Puget Sound?

It seems like development into these towns on the other side of the Puget Sound would be a good fight against COL and traffic issues if they can get to Seattle by ferry, so I'm just wondering why it appears that these towns are being ignored over developing suburbs further east from Seattle?
It's easier to answer your question is with one simple fact: the operating surplus for the city of Seattle is greater than the operating budget FOR THE ENTIRE STATE. (And for what it's worth, the reason why Seattle has so much more $$$ than the state has less to do with its population and more to do with other factors.)

Simply put, the state of WA is broke. They don't have the money to invest in infrastructure; out on the Olympic peninsula where these towns are located, either the towns themselves or the state would need to pay for the infrastructure needed and neither entity has the cash. It's not even close; Seattle is the 1% and the rest of the state is staggeringly poor by comparison.

Another factor in all of this is that ferries are expensive and (in actuality) only 3 ferries operate to Seattle proper: Bainbridge - Seattle and Bremerton - Seattle go into downtown Seattle while Vashon Island - Fauntleroy operates to West Seattle. The timing of the 2 ferries operating to downtown as well as the cost make them prohibitive for use with a car, so unless you work in downtown Seattle proper, you're looking at a very long commute to and from work.
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,639,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amaiunmei View Post
It's easier to answer your question is with one simple fact: the operating surplus for the city of Seattle is greater than the operating budget FOR THE ENTIRE STATE. (And for what it's worth, the reason why Seattle has so much more $$$ than the state has less to do with its population and more to do with other factors.)

Simply put, the state of WA is broke. They don't have the money to invest in infrastructure; out on the Olympic peninsula where these towns are located, either the towns themselves or the state would need to pay for the infrastructure needed and neither entity has the cash. It's not even close; Seattle is the 1% and the rest of the state is staggeringly poor by comparison.

Another factor in all of this is that ferries are expensive and (in actuality) only 3 ferries operate to Seattle proper: Bainbridge - Seattle and Bremerton - Seattle go into downtown Seattle while Vashon Island - Fauntleroy operates to West Seattle. The timing of the 2 ferries operating to downtown as well as the cost make them prohibitive for use with a car, so unless you work in downtown Seattle proper, you're looking at a very long commute to and from work.
So the ferries are under the state budget? That makes sense.

What's really weird though is that you say Washington is broke. How does Washington not benefit from having Seattle whatsoever? Don't the liberals in Seattle want to promote state government?
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:59 AM
 
1,350 posts, read 1,881,666 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by :-D View Post
So the ferries are under the state budget? That makes sense.

What's really weird though is that you say Washington is broke. How does Washington not benefit from having Seattle whatsoever? Don't the liberals in Seattle want to promote state government?
Each entity has separate budgets.

Seattle makes WAY more money than the other entities, in large part due to the fact that they are operating businesses throughout the state (not just within the city) that make $$$ for the city. Other cities and the state itself don't really have that going for them.

Seattle and the state government are not getting along currently; that's more of a political matter.
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Old 07-08-2016, 05:41 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,777 posts, read 54,424,430 times
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The ferries are expensive when you drive on, not too bad if you walk on. Some employers will partially subsidize the fare as they do with buses and light rail. The one I use most was not mentioned, Edmonds-Kingston, which provides access to Seattle from the north, or to the eastside. I have several co-workers living in Bremerton, Bainbridge, or Port Orchard that take the ferry daily to our Seattle offices, about a one mile walk from the dock. For them it's well worth it and they enjoy the trip.
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Seattle
1,531 posts, read 1,313,104 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by :-D View Post
It seems like development into these towns on the other side of the Puget Sound would be a good fight against COL and traffic issues if they can get to Seattle by ferry, so I'm just wondering why it appears that these towns are being ignored over developing suburbs further east from Seattle?
Well, first, it's not like the west side isn't growing, it is. It's just not as white-hot as Seattle is.

The main answer is job location, and the transport infrastructure needed to support the employment centers. In many ways, it's the old "last mile" problem (used in telecom - how to cover the distance from the servers/nodes to the end user.)

There are thousands of people who use the ferries to commute from the west side of the Sound to the east side (or, for example, from Whidbey Island to the Boeing Everett plant.) The vast majority of these are foot passengers, as the cost of taking a vehicle daily is prohibitive.

But this only works if one's employment is very easily reached from the ferry terminal. Once you add in the time and cost of a "last mile" commute (which might well be "last ten miles") that requires, say, getting off a ferry and onto a bus, you quickly hit the point where commuters won't do it - it's just too inconvenient.

(Not surprisingly, this applies to other transport modes. Seattle's new light rail system has some stations that are "walkable" from employment centers, but others will need a second trip - bus, Uber, whatever - to get people to their workplaces and/or get them to and from home from the stations. It remains to be seen how many people will put up with an hour or more for a commute, twenty minutes of which is spent on the train.)

So commuting to Seattle from, say, Bainbridge Island or Poulsbo, might be convenient if you work right in downtown Seattle. But if you work in Bellevue, or even someplace like South Lake Union, the total travel time from home to work may well be unacceptable. You could save money on housing cost, but at a time penalty that's too high.

If your job is in Bellevue, it could well be easier to put up with traffic and commute from Issaquah or Snoqualmie or Kent, and not have to hike the "last mile" or change buses twice. It's all about human nature.
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
6,628 posts, read 5,048,862 times
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WSF does offer multi-ride discount cards for car & drivers, motorcyclists, and walk-on passengers. For instance:

Bainbridge-Seattle, Bremerton-Seattle, Kingston-Edmonds (20 trips):
Car & Driver: $185, Motorcyclist: $102.60, Walk-On: $66.10 (round-trip)

Southworth-Fauntleroy (20 trips):
Car & Driver: $143.40, Motorcyclist: $79.40, Walk-On: $51.30 (round-trip)

Vashon-Fauntleroy (10 trips):
Car & Driver: $117.30, Motorcyclist: $64.50, Walk-On: $64.50 (round-trip)

Walk-ons (and Bicyclists) can also purchase a monthly-pass:

Vashon-Fauntleroy: $68.60
Others: $105.80

For car commuting, two multi-ride cards per month will likely be needed (four for Vashon). Another issue for car drivers is that there can be long-waits (if a boat fills up, you have to wait for the next one). Being able to work a four-day (10 hours/day) work-week could cut the costs by another 20%.

For walk-ons, travel time to and from the ferry terminal (drop-off/pick-up, transit, biking, walking) can add considerably to commute time.

Ultimately, it comes down to whether saving money on your mortgage/rent is worth the time and costs of ferry commuting.
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:35 AM
 
2,683 posts, read 5,207,419 times
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The ferries are run by the state but its not like ferry runs have been cut back due to funding issues...and the mention of 3 ferries means 3 routes, they run multiple ferries on all of those routes, plus as others have mentioned there are some additional routes in the north part of the metro.

I have coworkers who make the commute as well. The downside is its an hour+ commute for most and your limited to the ferry schedules and waiting if you miss a ferry and you have to work close to downtown to make it work. The upside is you can read, work, relax on the ferry and its pretty cool taking a boat every!

Quote:
Originally Posted by :-D View Post
So the ferries are under the state budget? That makes sense.

What's really weird though is that you say Washington is broke. How does Washington not benefit from having Seattle whatsoever? Don't the liberals in Seattle want to promote state government?
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,639,169 times
Reputation: 3625
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah View Post
The ferries are run by the state but its not like ferry runs have been cut back due to funding issues...and the mention of 3 ferries means 3 routes, they run multiple ferries on all of those routes, plus as others have mentioned there are some additional routes in the north part of the metro.

I have coworkers who make the commute as well. The downside is its an hour+ commute for most and your limited to the ferry schedules and waiting if you miss a ferry and you have to work close to downtown to make it work. The upside is you can read, work, relax on the ferry and its pretty cool taking a boat every!
Ok so it only makes sense if you work in Downtown. But most employers are in Downtown, right? Seattle doesn't seem to be built like Phoenix where employers are legitimately everywhere but downtown.

I thought it would be cool taking the ferry as well. There are no ferries in Arizona so it is unique and boat rides are fun at the end of the day, unless you get seasick. It seems expensive with a car I get that. I bet the views from the ferries are awesome though. But an hour plus just on the ferry? That seems a bit long... Hm, maybe it's not a good deal after all.

I just thought Bremerton for an example, would be a better option than say Sammamish to getting to Downtown because of the ferry. I guess not? That area just doesn't seem to be booming, it's not like you're giving something up, the Olympic mountains are right there plus it's the same Puget sound. And city views maybe?

Maybe the West side will look more appealing in the future, I don't think Seattle's boom is going to die down anytime soon.
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:34 PM
 
236 posts, read 212,731 times
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I used to commute to bainbridge island for work many years ago and my employer paid for my ticket. i remember a few times when a ferry broke down and they couldn't get another one to take the route on time. Also, if you are driving on, the ferries get pretty full in the Summer so you never know how early you need to line up.

All in all, it seemed hard to time things if you need to be home from work at a specific time. Might be hard to pick kids up from childcare each day. Also, if there was an emergency and I needed to pick them up from school...it would be tough. If you have a flexible schedule and are a walk-on passenger it might work out OK.
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