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The M/V Sally Fox has started service today on the Vashon Island route.

www.king5.com/story/news/traffic/2015/04/08/vashon-island-seattle-water-taxi/25472217/

This vessel is the first of two "brand' new vessels owned by King Co. Water Taxi. The two new boats will replace the Melissa Ann which was leased and 27 yrs old. The second vessel will put the Spirit of Kingston as a backup boat.

The Spirit of Kingston is the first vessel owned by King Co. Water Taxi which was operated on the route between Kingston and Downtown Seattle before it shut down in fall of 2012. Here is a photo of Spirit of Kingston:

16829884567_94c50a0824_o.jpg

Spirit of Kingston by Blue Bus Fan, on Flickr

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Hey I know the guy who wrote that KING 5 article! :D

Anyways here's my favorite picture of the Sally Fox I took while en route the dedication ceremony.

16384802674_73b5c17217_o.jpg

Traveling to the dedication was actually really cool, the media folks got to stand on the back of the Spirit of Kingston and take photos of the Sally Fox as it chased us around Elliot Bay and the Puget Sound. The Sally Fox is a beautiful ship.

I have a lot more pictures up on this Flickr gallery.

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One more boat named the M/V Doc Manyard will enter service on the West Seattle route after she is done sea trails.

http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/new-king-county-water-taxi-boats-to-be-built-by-all-american-marine-but-delivered-later-than-originally-hoped/

I hope the M/V Doc Manyard will bring the off-peak and weekend service to West Seattle route during the off-peak season months.

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One more boat named the M/V Doc Manyard will enter service on the West Seattle route after she is done sea trails.

http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/new-king-county-water-taxi-boats-to-be-built-by-all-american-marine-but-delivered-later-than-originally-hoped/

Yup. The Doc Manyard is expected to be delivered in mid-October 2015. The Sally Fox got about a months of sea trials, assuming a similar schedule the Doc Maynard will go into service in November/December 2015. At around the same time the Melissa Ann will be returned to Four Seasons Marine Services and the Spirit of Kingston will become the backup ship.

I hope the M/V Doc Manyard will bring the off-peak and weekend service to West Seattle route during the off-peak season months.

I'd love that too, but the Doc Manyard is just a ship... it can't do something like that. The human politicians that work for King County would need to find the funding to make year-round off-peak and weekend service happen.

Also worth mentioning that for the last month the the first few runs between Seattle and West Seattle on Saturday are being made by the Melissa Ann and after that the Spirit of Kingston takes over. Not sure if that's due to required weekly maintenance on the Spirit of Kingston, or simply that they want to get the Melissa Ann out on the water once a week.

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The M/V Doc Maynard was launch on August 8th:

http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/new-west-seattle-water-taxi-doc-maynard-launches-starts-sea-trials/

The M/V Doc Maynard will first enter service on the Seattle to Vashon Island route for the M/V Sally Fox goes in for warranty work.

By the way, King County Water Taxi may expand onto Lake Washington and add more sailing, and routes on the Puget Sound.

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King County is out with an "Interim Report on Ferry Expansion" that identifies routes that could potentially be added to the Water Taxi system. The report identified 36 potential routes and 17 potential terminal locations in Bellevue, Des Moines, Kenmore, Kirkland and Seattle (including Ballard, the University of Washington, Pier 50 and South Lake Union). Three routes were identified for further consideration, based on overall time competitiveness compared to other modes of travel and the cost of operation:
• Kenmore (Log Boom Park) to University of Washington (Waterfront Activity Center)
• Kirkland (Marina Park) to University of Washington (Waterfront Activity Center)
• Ballard (Shilshole Marina) to Downtown Seattle (Pier 50).

The county's Transportation, Economy and Environment (TrEE) Committee will officially receive the interim today. The final report on expansion is expected to be finished by November 25, 2015.

Link to read the report (pp. 177-442): http://aqua.kingcounty.gov/Council/agendas/TrEE/20150901-TrEE-packet.pdf

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I think they expand the West Seattle route to operate seven days and off peak to all year instead of peak season and expand the Vashon Island route to off peak in off peak season and seven days with off peak service during the peak season with the couple of routes that might come into play.

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So the Doc Maynard arrived in Seattle over the weekend. The plan is to have a dedication ceremony Friday at 11:30. After that Doc will go into service on the Vashon Island run for a while so that the Sally Fox can go back to the builder in Bellingham for warrantee work.

He's a great looking ship and as West Seattle commuter, I'm very excited.

I've noticed a few differences between Sally and Doc. Doc has a new King County Water Taxi logo. It has the image of Dr. King and looks like the King County Metro logo. Also the metal beams at the bow of the ship have a decal of Seattle skyline.

Here's a picture:
COp8piGWsAAyO2Q.jpg
Picture from @kcnews on Twitter.

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Do you know if they going to increase services in the off season on West Seattle when she enters service?

To my knowledge, no.

The off-peak/Weekend service is heavily dependent on tourist traffic to pencil out financially... and there just isn't enough tourists between November and March.

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They did. It involves having no off peak or weekend service.

But they introduced because it seems like a waste of money to sail two 250 passengers vessels on only part of day and only five days a week

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The M/V Doc Maynard entered service this morning on the West Seattle run.

http://komonews.com/news/local/new-water-taxi-on-elliott-bay-gears-up-for-viaduct-closure

The run in particular is anticipated to have a short surge in ridership during the planned closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct in March (when Bertha burrows under).

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From my West Seattle trip on Saturday:

27170773636_c0c2451542.jpgSpirit of Kingston by Blue Bus Fan, on Flickr

27170772296_2fb2b61c72.jpgSpirit of Kingston by Blue Bus Fan, on Flickr

27170768666_e8d56825fd.jpgSpirit of Kingston by Blue Bus Fan, on Flickr

26599476903_d648782d71.jpgSpirit of Kingston by Blue Bus Fan, on Flickr

27170769206_831274e90d.jpgDoc Mayard by Blue Bus Fan, on Flickr

27170769826_d2588c6818.jpgDoc Mayard by Blue Bus Fan, on Flickr

27170770816_62a53b8ea2.jpgDoc Mayard by Blue Bus Fan, on Flickr

26599475613_95b7353786.jpgDoc Mayard by Blue Bus Fan, on Flickr

Do they often use the Spirit of Kingston on the West Seattle Route during the weekends? 

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On May 24, 2016 at 8:31 PM, Blue Bus Fan said:

Do they often use the Spirit of Kingston on the West Seattle Route during the weekends? 

No. Normally the Doc Maynard continues to run on the weekends. That said, I've noticed that if the Spirit of Kingston will sometimes make an appearance on the first few runs of the day on Saturday. I'm not sure the reasoning behind this. Maybe they just like to run the Spirit of Kingston once a week to make sure everything operates correctly, or if the Doc Maynard is scheduled for routine maintenance on Saturday mornings.

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King Co. Water Taxi has seen increase ridership since "Via-doom" by 20-30% on both routes:

https://kingcountywatertaxiblog.com/2016/05/31/water-taxi-proves-itself-as-an-alternative-to-the-viaduct/

I wonder if ridership stays like this during the winter will they consider adding more sailing on both routes; with West Seattle seeing midday service during the winter and midday sailing on the Vashon route all year. 

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