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Sunday, February 4, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Public comment sought on fare-increase plan

State ferries fare meetings

Washington State Ferries has scheduled the following public meetings on proposed fare changes:

Lopez Island: 9-10:30 a.m. Feb. 12, Lopez Island Community Center, 204 Village Road

San Juan Islands: 2-4 p.m. Feb. 12, Mullis Community Center, 589 Nash St., Friday Harbor

Orcas Island: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 12, Orcas Center, 917 Mount Baker Road

Vashon Island: 6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 13, McMurray Middle School, 9329 S.W. Cemetery Road

Bainbridge Island: 6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 15, Bainbridge Commons, 402 Brien Drive

Bremerton: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 20, Hampton Inn & Suites, 150 Washington Ave.

Port Orchard: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 21, John Sedgwick Junior High School, 8995 Sedgwick Road

Kingston: 7-8 p.m. Feb. 22, Kingston Cove Yacht Club, 25915 Washington Blvd.

Port Townsend: 6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 27, Fort Worden Commons Company B, 200 Battery Way

Whidbey Island: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 28, Trinity Lutheran Church, Fireside Room, 18341 State Route 525, Freeland

Anacortes: 9-10:30 a.m. March 1, Flounder Bay Caf, 2201 Skyline Way

Seattle (public hearing): 1-3 p.m. March 22, Puget Sound Regional Council Board room, 1011 Western Ave., 5th Floor

Source: Washington State Department of Transportation

The Washington State Ferries staff will host a series of meetings and one public hearing in the Puget Sound region over the next few weeks to explain a new fare-increase proposal and receive public input.

The meetings will take place Feb. 12 to March 1 in communities served by the ferry system. The public hearing will be March 22 in Seattle.

The 2007-08 tariff proposal includes a 4 percent increase in general fares and a continuation of a discount program for in-need organizations.

The proposal also includes a change in the peak-season oversize-vehicle fare calculation.

Those unable to attend the meetings may comment on the proposal via e-mail, at tariff@wsdot.wa.gov; by fax, 206-515-3773; by phone, 888-808-7977; or mail: Tariff Proposal, Washington State Ferries, 2901 Third Ave., Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98121-3014.

The ferry system also plans to introduce an electronic fare-collection system on the Edmonds-Kingston route on Feb. 20.

Under the new system, frequent-user ticket books for the route will not be available after Feb. 19, though they will still be accepted until their expiration dates.

The ticket books are being replaced with a barcoded, scannable card, which is good for the same amount of rides and the same discount, as well as the same 90-day expiration date.

The cards will be available at Edmonds and Kingston terminal tollbooths and kiosks, and at www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries.

— Amy Martinez, Seattle Times staff reporter

Copyright © The Seattle Times Company

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