511 travel information phone number will be deactivated May 19

(OLYMPIA)– On Friday, May 19, the Washington State Department of Transporation will deactivate the 511 phone number which provides automated statewide travel information. As announced last month, the number is being discontinued due to declining call volumes, the advancement of new technology and the cost to operate and maintain the system. At the height of the program, 511 received more than 2.2 million calls a year. However, since 2009, call volumes have decreased 89%, according to a news release from WSDOT. The program also costs more than $150,000 a year to operate and requires staff time to update the travel information and maintain signs. Once discontinued, these     (read more)

Seeking representative for Skagit County Boundary Review Board

(SKAGIT COUNTY)- Skagit County is seeking an applicant to fill a vacant seat on the Boundary Review Board (BRB), a body that provides local, independent review of certain actions proposed by cities, towns, and special purpose districts (e.g. water, sewer districts, etc.) in accordance with RCW 36.93. The actions that most come before the Board are annexations. The BRB consists of five total volunteer members who are appointed by the Governor (two appointments), local cities (one appointment), the County (one appointment), and local special purpose districts (one appointment). The ideal candidate is knowledgeable in the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.7     (read more)

Ferry fare changes coming: Transportation Commission seeks public input

(OLYMPIA)– The Washington State Transportation Commission has kicked off its ferry fare-setting process for 2023-2025, with an online survey and virtual community meetings for people to learn more and provide comments. The ferry fare revenue requirement set by the Legislature in the recently passed 2023-2025 Transportation Budget is $418.6 million, according to a news release from the WSTC. The commission will determine how to meet that expectation in the coming months and wants to hear from the public along the way. An online survey is open until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 9, and allows participants to share opinions on different fare     (read more)

Guemes Island ferry fare proposal public hearing scheduled for June 8

(SKAGIT COUNTY)- Skagit County and consultant, KPFF, are nearing the completion of a ferry fare rate study for the Guemes Island Ferry. Since 2018, farebox revenue has not met the revenue target, and the county has not pursued an increase in fares for operational costs since 2015. The county has undertaken this project to ensure the current level of ferry service and to be proactive in addressing financial impacts to the county's Road Fund, according to a news release from the county. Following an open house and public hearing to gather initial community input, the Guemes Island Ferry System 2023 Rate Study     (read more)

Washington State Ferries to host systemwide virtual meetings ahead of peak summer service

(SEATTLE)– Ahead of a busy summer of travel, Washington State Ferries is hosting six virtual public meetings to update the public about the routes they rely on and answer questions about the ferry system. The meetings begin Tuesday, May 23, and run through Wednesday, June 7, according to a news release from WSF. Those interested are invited to attend any session, though route-specific details will be discussed on specific dates (see schedule below). “We’re excited to be hosting meetings for all of our routes to hear from each of our ferry-served communities,” said Patty Rubstello, head of WSF. “We’re looking     (read more)