Guemes Island Ferry Committee

Governor Inslee To Visit Guemes Ferry Wednesday 11:30 – 12:45

Let’s keep these issues in mind if you are interested in attending the visit to the Anacortes dock by Governor Inslee this week.

This vital transportation link between Guemes Island and Anacortes relies heavily, if not solely, on the Ferry service provided by Skagit County since the 1960’s. – Although we have received the majority of funding needed from the State legislature for a new All Electric Ferry, it appears Guemes Islanders have been marginalized in the process.

Overshadowed by State Ferries, Labor, COVID, and ignored by local officials please make those in attendance aware we are still here and worried about costs and the future of our vital service. 

Contract Approved With Guemes Island Ferry Workers The Skagit County Board of County Commissioners approved on Monday a four-year contract with Guemes Island Ferry Workers.

At least 4,224 round trips a year The Guemes Island Ferry has been owned by Skagit County since the mid-1960s, but a ferry has served Guemes Island since 1890. The current ferry, the M/V Guemes, makes 4,224 round trips a year — not including doubles and after-hours trips for medical emergencies and power outages. There are currently 18 crew members on the roster: four captains (one full-time, two part-time, and one emergency on-call); 13 purser-deckhands (four full-time, three part-time, and six on-call); and one full-time mechanic. Two part-time purser-deckhands are also qualified to serve as captains.

Washington State Ferries (WSF) is embarking on an ambitious initiative to begin the transition to an emission-free fleet through a hybrid electric ferry system. WSF operates the largest ferry system in the United States. It is also the biggest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions of any state agency in Washington, burning 19 million gallons of diesel fuel to support 24 million passengers every year. This shift to hybrid electric ferries is in response to governor and legislative direction as well as alignment with the agency’s own long-range planning initiatives. To transition to a hybrid electric fleet, WSF is working on the three key elements of the electrification system – building new vessels, converting vessels, and electrifying the terminals. Funding $1.33 billion secured funding | $3.98 billion total estimated cost

Washington State Ferries Awards Vigor Contract to Convert Its Largest Vessels to Hybrid-electric Power Vigor’s $150 million winning bid for the contract came in about $16 million under the second place bid from another Washington shipyard, but was still approximately $30 million above the state’s $120 million estimate for the project. Vigor has been awarded approximately $100 million for the conversion of two vessels, with a fixed-price option to convert the third vessel in 2025.

No Covid Funds For The Guemes Ferry As you know, the Guemes Island Ferry did not receive a dime of this. As far as I could find in my ferry research, we are the only county ferry that did not receive any funding.

County Disenfranchises Ferry Committee The final Skagit County Board of Commissioner’s hearing regarding the proposed new Ferry Fare Revenue Target Methodology was held July 27, 2023.  Much to the surprise of those in attendance, Ferry Captain Rachel Rowe brought up some last-minute changes to the posted July 17 Resolution that essentially disenfranchised the Guemes Island Ferry Committee (GIFC) from its historical role in representing the island ridership. 

Suddenly Almost Half A Million For Ferry Insurance On the 2022 Guemes Island Ferry Expense Report, the Insurance category was charged $572,868. The budgeted amount for 2022 was $120,799 – $452,069 over budget – 374% over budget.

Guemes Island Ferry Committee

Source: emails from The Guemes Island Ferry Committee, Allen Bush 10,23,2023 8:41 PM