Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Crew shortages hit Washington ferries ahead of holiday

Washington state ferry
Ted S. Warren
/
The Associated Press file
A passenger wears a mask while riding on a Washington state ferry from Bremerton to Seattle as another ferry passes near the Space Needle on May 25.

Canceled sailings at Washington State Ferries could worsen for Labor Day weekend as crew shortages and COVID-19 quarantines continue to impact the schedules.

The Seattle Times reports that travelers are advised to prepare for delays, choose an early or late sailing, or consider walking aboard to avoid car lineups.

The ferry system stopped accepting new weekend reservations for the San Juan Islands and Coupeville-Port Townsend routes, as it can’t guarantee a full schedule.

Six routes will run fewer trips than usual through Labor Day weekend and beyond, especially late nights. Next week the Seattle-Bremerton route will shrink to just one boat so the ferry Kaleetan can undergo dry-dock repairs.

At least 130 sailings have been missed since February, the worst in recent memory, spokesperson Ian Sterling said. Of these, rider alerts last weekend showed 31 cancellations because of crew shortages.

The Associated Press (“AP”) is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from the AP. Founded in 1846, the AP today is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. The AP considers itself to be the backbone of the world’s information system, serving thousands of daily newspaper, radio, television, and online customers with coverage in text, photos, graphics, audio and video.