Wednesday, March 19, 2014

More on the Commute details...

REVISION: As of April 2015 there is a new larger capacity Water Taxi.  The information regarding capacity is incorrect. For my updated post look HERE

I got a received several questions about some of the details of our daily commute to/from Vashon by way of the Water Taxi.   I figured I would offer the answers here...

 I'm a bit worried to hear that the 5:30 fills they often turn people away?  

     So it is true that the 5:30pm boat does sometimes fill up, but not often!  Because of that people line up a tad bit earlier, but in general this is now pretty rare.   Just over 2 years ago the Melissa Anne (the name of the PO boat) got approved to take on more passengers which apparently helped significantly. I think that the story that the 5:30pm boat fills up a lot is a leftover from that.  Again, it does happen but not all the time.

     Apparently, there is another boat being built that will hold more people.  . Often I arrive at the line at 5:25 and am fine. In two years time I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen people get turned away.  The 4:30 does sometimes also get filled up, but again not very often.   In fact, that is the one time I have been turned away and granted I was rushing down the pier at 4:29...

     Keep in mind that major events can impact this.  If there is an early Seahawks game on TV people want to get home and watch it- they also want to get out of the city earlier.  Also, my impression is that Tuesdays and Wednesdays there are more commuters to/from Vashon. I think that a lot of Islanders have jobs that have flexible work days- but most people who work in Seattle go in on one of the those days.  I also once heard one of the Water Taxi Workers jokingly say, "I am not sure that anyone who lives on Vashon works on Fridays."

how early folks assemble for the morning ride....any insight or tips would be greatly appreciated!"

People don't line up for the 8:15am boat.  It's a pretty chill affair at 8:15am.  I just get off the bus and walk onto the boat usually.  So there is no early assembly.

The 7:10 and 6:10 are a tad bit different of a story...These boats do not regularly fill up now that the boat capacity is larger, but people line up and wait to get on the boat.  From what I've been told (thanks Stephanie!) you can run down the dock at 7:09am and be just fine...

Any insight or tips would be greatly appreciated

Finally, the most important thing is to go onto the KingCounty Water Taxi Webpage and sign up to get text alerts if anything is weird about the boats.    Thus, if a boat is cancelled, delayed, broken down etc you get an alert beforehand so then you can troubleshoot. You can call work, work from home, catch a ferry, try to drive to work etc.

This is really important! This past winter we had weeks and weeks of cancellations, or delays. These texts saved our sanity.

Life on an Island with boats and water is wild! We had one day where the boat filled up, went to the Island and then the waters were too rough to land, so everyone hauled it back to Seattle....things like that are just part of the flexibility you must have!  Our childcare provider is flexible, we are must retain a sense of welcoming the parts you cannot control.

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