Ferry fares increase on Tuesday

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SEATTLE - Ferry fares will increase on Tuesday while the number of crewmembers on boats appears to be going down.

 

Washington State Ferries will raise fares 3 percent across the board.  The system will also add a 25 percent peak season surcharge for summer. 

 

The surcharge only affects single ticket vehicle fares, not passes or passengers, but that means a Bremerton driver, now paying $12.75, will be paying $16.40 each way this summer.

 

Meanwhile, the ferry system is hoping to save at least $1 million a year by trimming boat crews.

 

The Kitsap Sun is reporting that last month, after the system and three of its unions failed to reach a deal on new staffing levels, the sides agreed to let the Coast Guard fix safe and appropriate levels of crewmembers.

 

The unions are concerned that there won't be enough crewmembers to properly get the job done.  They say they'll keep talking to the Coast Guard, to address those concerns.

 

The staffing changes start on June 17.