Water taxi, fast ferry service relaunches at new passenger terminal

KING COUNTY, Wash. — Service for the King County Water Taxi and the Kitsap Transit Fast Ferry returns Monday after nearly a week of being canceled, but it comes with a new change.

Commuters will have to catch a ride from a new downtown Seattle passenger dock at Pier 50.

Passengers will have to walk to the south side of Colman Dock where they’ll find a covered passenger terminal.

It is one of the new and practical upgrades that the county hopes passengers will appreciate.

“They’ll be dry for the time that they’re waiting for their ferry versus now, when they’re standing outside,” King County Marine Division Operations and Maintenance Manager Ron Panzero said.

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The open new space that has room for about 500 people was under construction for two years. During that time passengers used Pier 52 as a temporary dock to catch rides from Seattle to West Seattle, Bremerton and Vashon Island.

Also included in the new terminal construction were seismic, security and ADA improvements, which was part of a larger project to renovate Colman Dock.

Rudy Willingham once took the King County Water Taxi to work daily. He said it’s, “Really convenient, a nice way to start the day.” “It’s unique, you know. It’s like living in Europe.”

Now Willingham is ready for the permanent move to the new digs from the temporary pier.

“I did notice it was kind of chaotic in that one right there, so, it’d be nice to have more space, less hectic,” Willingham said.

Another new improvement, passengers will see, is a new walking bridge to catch larger ferries. However, Pier 50 will only be for passengers — no cars.