Changes at Fauntleroy Ferry terminal aim to save time, alleviate traffic

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SEATTLE - Big changes are in place at one of Seattle's busiest ferry terminals.

Washington State Ferries is trying something new to get drivers onto boats faster and alleviate some of the backups on Fauntleroy Avenue in West Seattle during peak hours.

The problem has been a source of frustration for a lot of residents and ferry riders.

For a long time, riders driving onto the ferry have had to stop at the toll booths, get their tickets and then stop again so workers can scan their tickets.

But that changes Monday.


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After studying the problem, the ferry service found that extra step was part of the reason for long delays and traffic backups.

So, drivers leaving West Seattle will no longer need to have their ticket scanned.

They'll make just one stop at the tollbooth and then will be able to line up for the ferry.

Both tollbooths will also be open at the same time more often to try to push drivers through.

That will be a welcome change for riders KIRO 7 spoke with.

"Usually on the 5 p.m. on Thursday or Friday, it's backed up all the way by the park,” a rider told KIRO 7.

The ferry service has been testing the new procedures, and found they can get 85 more vehicles through the process between 3 and 6 p.m.

Residents, who tell us they do everything they can to avoid Fauntleroy Avenue during those peak hours, will hopefully notice an improvement, too.

Ferry officials will be watching closely over the next 30 days to make sure the measures are making things better, and to make any tweaks if need be.

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