Maritime Blue | KNKX

Maritime Blue

Washington state ferry
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Washington’s ferry system runs on diesel fuel that causes more air pollution than anything else the state transportation department operates. That’s changing as the state Department of Transportation works to convert two of its Jumbo Mark 2 ferries to hybrid-electric propulsion. And now it has officially launched the first new construction of a hybrid ferry, amid much fanfare.  

Jeremy Judd / Washington State Department of Commerce

Just over a year ago, Gov. Jay Inslee launched his “Washington Maritime Blue” initiative. It aims to make the state’s seafaring sector the most sustainable in the nation, by boosting innovations and clean technology that help the environment and also grow jobs.

Jim Culp / Courtesy Washington State Department of Transportation.

A new state initiative called Maritime Blue is pushing for more sustainability in the sector. A 20-member advisory council appointed by Governor Jay Inslee is developing innovation strategies, with the help of consultants from Norway. 

That has the head of the Washington State Ferries system dreaming big about how to electrify the fleet.