Photos by Rose Egge
The King County Water Taxi pulls in after its first trip to Downtown Seattle this season. Click the image for more photos of the event.

Community celebrates water taxi's first launch

A large crowd gathered today under the sun to enjoy a live band, complimentary refreshments and kick of the King County Water Taxi season.

From noon to 2 p.m. local leaders, including King County Council member Dow Constantine and Seattle County Council President Richard Conlin, spoke about the value of the Water Taxi while residents were able to ride the passenger ferry for free all day.

"People here in West Seattle have found that this is a great alternative to driving your car, looking for parking and paying for gas,"
said Constantine.

Smiles were not tough to find among a crowd that was treated to refreshments provided by Zatz bagels, Alki Crab and Fish and Husky Deli.

The Fireboat Leschi’s water cannons also greet the King County Water Taxi as it returned from its first trip to Downtown Seattle this season.

After being renamed, the vessel has received a fresh, new look to match the two new shuttle vans.

The water taxi will have its longest season to date, continuing service on the West Seattle-to-downtown route through Oct. 31. Soon after, year-round service could begin.

On March 26, the Seattle Parks Board voted to recommend that the parks superintendent approve a proposal which would expand the dock at Seacrest Park so the King County Water Taxi can start year-round operations in early 2010.

"I'm looking forward to being able to provide West Seattle with an improved service and year round transportation," said Constantine.

The boat will depart about every 40 minutes during commute hours and hourly during the middle of the day. Evening service will be offered on Friday and Saturday nights with the last sailings leaving Pier 55 at 10:30 p.m. and Seacrest Dock at 11 p.m. Evening service will also be offered for every Seattle Mariners home game, giving baseball fans a relaxing alternative to game-day gridlock.

The free shuttle van service has also been split into two routes. Route 773 will serve the West Seattle Junction and Route 775 will serve the Admiral District, Alki and Harbor Avenue. The shuttle will operate between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and between 8:45 a.m. and 7:15 p.m. on weekends.

The one-way fare for the King County Water Taxi is $3 for anyone over the age of 5. Passengers with a valid Metro transfer pay just $1. Also accepted for full fare are PugetPasses, FlexPasses, Metro Access Passes, UPasses, Vanpool Passes, Saturday/Sunday Day Passes, and Regional Reduced Fare Permits with a valid monthly or annual sticker.

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