Ferry system apologizes for major delays due to ‘unprecedented situation’
EDMONDS, Wash. — Ferry lines in Edmonds have been backed up three to four hours the past few days. That’s also created long lines at Rory’s Bar and Grill right next to the docks.
“It’s been crazy, super busy,” said Heather Wood-Roundill, owner of Rory’s. “When the ferry lines back up, we get backed up in here.”
Rory’s has been an oasis for frustrated ferry riders who are annoyed a boat was taken off the Edmonds-Kingston route to cover the ferry service when the M/V Tacoma broke down between Seattle and Bainbridge Island on Tuesday.
“I apologize for the disruption,” said Captain George Capacci, interim director of Washington State Ferries, speaking for the first time about the delays and backups that happened throughout the system.
“It was an unprecedented situation. The fact we had two boats in regularly scheduled maintenance, two boats had incidents that took them out of service, is just something that we never planned for and never really experienced before.”
The ferry system has had its share of problems in the past, with cancellations because of staffing shortages, and problems with the newest ferry, the Tokitae. The man in charge calls the system fragile, with an aging fleet.
Capacci also pointed out that this year there has only been 99 missed sailings out of 163,000.
Sixty years is the lifespan of a ferry in Washington. Right now the state is in the process of adding two more new, Olympic Class ferries, to the fleet.