The Washington State Transportation Commission is suggesting a 2.5% ferry fare increase this year and next year that would apply to all paths, passengers, and vehicles.

The new fares could take effect in October of this past year, and in October 2022, if accepted after this summer. The public now has the chance to comment on the plan.

Ray Deardorf with Washington State Ferries says fares will need to go up to keep the service afloat.

COVID has only thrown all our forecasting models into a tizzy,” Deardorf explained.

The transportation commission had also been studying a plan that would increase the fares for automobiles by over 3 percent in the initial year, while not raising the speed for walk-on passengers. But commission members like Debbie Young didn’t think that was right.

“There’s a high likelihood that preceding walk-on riders will make the most of opportunities to work from home or requirements to work at home rather than return robustly in the not too distant future, no matter a fare incentive,” Young said.

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Following a public comment period on the proposed fare increase, a final decision is expected in August. Submit a comment online here until July 30, or by email to 88******652@d***