Friends and neighbors,

As an Anacortes resident, I know how vital our ferry system is in Washington. During this stressful time, and given the uncertainty of the coronavirus crisis, there has been a significant decline in ferry ridership across the state. As more families are working from home or self-quarantining, this is an understandable decline, and Washington State Ferries is acting accordingly.

In response to Gov. Inslee’s directions, all food vendors both at the Anacortes terminal and on vessels will be closed for the time being. This step is one of several to put the health and safety of ferry passengers and employees first.

If you had to cancel your travel plans due to coronavirus concerns, you might be eligible for a refund of ticket expenses. All no-show fees will also be waived for the time being. To get more information about both of these changes, you can visit the Washington State Ferries website at

As the Canadian border has been closed to all nonessential travel, Washington State Ferries has also made the difficult decision to postpone the start of the Anacortes-Sidney route until at least April 28. This choice was not one made lightly, and it does not change the ongoing commitment to the route in the future.

All tickets must be purchased online or at ticket kiosks for the time being – including tickets for seniors, youth, or disabled riders. This step aligns more closely with social distancing protocol.

Starting March 23, customer services agents will be telecommuting rather than working out of a central agency. You may still call (206)-464-6400 to speak with an agent or receive the automated schedule and fare rate. However, this means that you will need to make all vehicle reservations online, and that wait times on the phone may be a bit longer. There will be agents in the call center from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday should you need final assistance placing or adjusting your reservations over the phone.

If you are continuing to ride the ferries, please ensure that you are following social distancing protocol. That means maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between you and other passengers on board in order to better ensure everyone’s safety.

The coronavirus crisis means that we are facing a new normal in many of our lives every day. Thankfully we can still depend on our incredible ferry system to keep us moving. I am grateful to all the Washington State Ferry employees who are keeping an essential service running despite unexpected barriers. While news is rapidly changing, I will work to keep my website and Facebook up to date with relevant ferry information.


Sen. Liz Lovelett