Half of ferry riders are failing to follow mask mandate

SEATTLE — Washington State Ferries reports that somewhere between 50-60% percent of riders aren’t following the federal transportation mask rule.

Spokesperson Dana Warr tells KIRO 7 many are forgetting, ignoring the rules or outright refusing to comply.

“On central sound routes we’re seeing about half the passengers not even wearing it or considering wearing it,” Warr said. “The numbers are getting so high its almost to a point where it’s unmanageable.”

According to Warr, travelers in the San Juans aren’t so much of a problem, but it’s a definite issue on both Bainbridge and Kingston routes.

“We have masks on board, we offer to them. We ask them if there’s other places that they could go,” Warr said.

As the rules stand, inside on the passenger deck or at a terminal masks are a must. If you’re outside on the car deck or sitting inside your vehicle the choice is yours.

“The captains do have the authority to remove passengers from the vessel. We have done that throughout the pandemic,” Warr said. “We don’t want to rachet that up to that level, especially when we’re in really in the final few weeks of this.”

The federal transportation mask rule is set to expire April 18.