King County Marine Division Director Paul Brodeur says new water taxis will have greater passenger capacity and be more reliable.
King County celebrates the laying of the keel for next generation water taxi vessels
King County and the King County Ferry District officials were present at the April 25 keel laying ceremony at All-American Marine, Inc. in Bellingham celebrating the start of construction of two new King County Water Taxis.
The new catamarans will replace the Rachel Marie and Melissa Ann - vessels that have been operating from Vashon Island and West Seattle to downtown Seattle since 2010. The Ferry District also owns and operates a third vessel, the Spirit of Kingston, which will remain part of the water taxi fleet.
The new vessels will each carry 250 passengers, 78 more than the vessels they will replace. That added capacity means more passengers will be able to use the water taxis during the busiest weekday commute periods.
Passengers will notice other benefits, as well. The vessels will have wider doors which will help speed boarding and unloading. The vessels will also increase bicycle capacity from 18 to 26 and offer greater comfort for passengers.
Attending the ceremony on behalf of King County were Department of Transportation Director Harold Taniguchi and Marine Division Director Paul Brodeur.
Keel laying is one of the four specially-celebrated events in the life of a ship; the others are launching, commissioning, and decommissioning. The Ferry District will take delivery of the new vessels in 2015.
For more details about the King County Ferry District’s contract with All-American Marine for construction of the new vessels, visit: http://www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/NewsCenter/NewsReleases/2...
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