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Rocky first two months for fast ferry as passengers deal with cancellations

SEATTLE – The fast ferry from Bremerton to Seattle is back in business Friday after a malfunction.
The ferry stopped operations Thursday afternoon after safety system was triggered.
It’s not the first time Kitsap Transit’s fast ferry has had to cancel routes in the past two months.
Monday to Friday, Brittinny Bliss stands in line for the fast ferry.
“It really makes you appreciate the quick commute to Seattle that it gives you,” Bliss said.
Her commute home to Bremerton from Seattle is cut in half on Kitsap Transit’s fast ferry.
“It’s been a blessing for my family a blessing but passengers say also unreliable.
“I heard it breaks down a lot so I had to call Kitsap Transit just to make sure it’s running today,” one passenger said.
For the past two months, Kitsap Transit has had to cancel sailings for a total of 12 days for a number of electrical or mechanical issues.
“It stops and all of us are looking at each other like what’s going on do we have to paddle to Seattle,” Bliss said.
Bliss says she was two and half hours late to work a few weeks ago when the boat stopped on the water.
“The captain had announced that the fire suppression system had turned on,” Bliss said.
And then again Thursday afternoon another cancellation for Bliss just as she was about to board the 5:15 p.m. route to Bremerton.
“A lot of people were in disbelief like you are kidding me,” Bliss said.
Kitsap Transit says Thursday’s break down was not a mechanical problem but a result of human error. A required manual procedure upon restarting the engine was not followed which then triggered the safety systems. The other malfunctions have included a small crack in the hull from a floating log to a defective sea strainer. But Bliss says she isn’t giving up on the fast ferry yet.
“Once it runs it’s great, I love it, it’s quick,” Bliss said.
The agency says a part of the problem is simply bad luck but also the fact that before the fast ferry started its routes, it was in storage for several years so the mechanical issues could stem from that. The bottom line is they are learning from each issue and emphasize that passenger safety is always their first priority.