Washington State Ferries

Long Range Plan

As of October 26, 2018, the Washington State Ferries Long Range Plan comment period has closed. Thank you for participating and sharing your comments on the Draft Long Range Plan! Check out the project website for additional information. To receive email updates, including a notification when the final Long Range Plan is released on January 2, 2019, please email [email protected]

What is the Long Range Plan?

  • WSF is developing a Long Range Plan to better understand and plan for the ferry system’s changing needs through 2040.
  • The Plan will guide future service and investments in vessels and terminals.
  • The Final Plan is due to the Washington State Legislature in January 2019.

2040 Long Range Plan

In addition to community input, several legislative directives and policies will help shape the Long Range Plan.

2017/2019 Transportation budget

  • Review the changing needs of ferry system users and funding opportunities and challenges

  • Evaluate strategies to help spread peak ridership

  • Identify operational changes to reduce costs

  • Address the seismic vulnerability and emergency preparedness of the system

WSDOT plans

  • Washington Transportation Plan

  • Human Services Transportation Plan

  • Public Transportation Plan

  • Climate Resiliency Plan

  • Workforce Development Plan

WSDOT vision and mission

Long Range Plan objective

Provide information about the needs of ferry customers, establish operational and pricing strategies to meet those needs, and identify vessel and terminal operations and capital requirements

2013 Origin-Destination Survey

Includes where ferry riders travel before and after they take a ferry

Executive Order 18-01

Directs WSF to begin the transition to a zero-carbon-emission ferry fleet, including accelerated adoption of both ferry electrification and operational improvements to conserve energy and cut fuel use

2007 Legislative directive (ESHB 2358)

  • Include service objectives for routes

  • Forecast demand

  • Develop investment strategies that consider regional and statewide needs

  • Support local land use plans, and assure that ferry services are fully integrated with other transportation services

  • Provide for the preservation of capital assets based on lowest life-cycle cost methods; be consistent with the regional transportation plans

  • Develop the Plan in conjunction with the Ferry Advisory Committees

WSDOT strategic goals

  • Inclusion

  • Practical Solutions

  • Workforce Development


WSF started development of the Long Range Plan in July 2017. WSF delivered a progress report to the Legislature in June 2018 and will deliver the Final Plan to the Legislature in January 2019. WSF is engaging stakeholders and the public throughout Plan development.

What will the ferry system look like in 2040?

Systemwide ridership is projected to increase 30 percent by 2040. The Long Range Plan will help WSF determine how to accommodate future growth. Ridership forecasts are based on rider survey results and local and regional forecast data from the Puget Sound Regional Council and local jurisdictions.

Ferry ridership forecasts by route

Proposed ferry system enhancements