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Origin Destination Survey

What is the Origin-Destination Onboard Survey?
WSDOT Ferries Division (WSF) conducts origin-destination (O&D) surveys every six to seven years as a way to accurately capture and measure the travel patterns of ferry passengers. The last survey was conducted in 2006. The surveys asked passengers about their typical routes, how they get to and from the ferry terminal, and the purpose of their trips.

What are the results and key findings?
Learn more about the systemwide highlights (pdf 824 kb) and key findings for each travel corridor:
     San Juan Islands (pdf 1.3 MB)
     North Sound (pdf 1.3 MB)
     Central Sound (pdf 1.8 MB)
     South Sound (pdf 1.3 MB)
 2006 Origin-Destination Survey Report Cover

You may download the entire 2006 report or sections of the report below, in Adobe Acrobat portable document format (pdf):

2006 Origin-Destination Onboard Survey Report (full report - pdf 17 MB)

How was the survey conducted?

  • WSF conducted the surveys onboard more than 300 sailings around the ferry system between October 14 and November 4, 2006.
  • The 2006 O&D survey was a comprehensive survey. It evaluated topics such as when people were traveling, what mode of transportation they used, travel origins and destinations.
  • From the 31,663 surveys distributed to ferry passengers, WSF received 13,801 survey responses—a significant return rate of over 43 percent.

What do the results tell WSF?
WSF planners can learn a lot by hearing directly from ferry passengers. By volunteering their time to take the survey, passengers provided answers to some of these important questions that affect WSF’s future planning and services:

  • To where are passengers traveling?
  • What additional transit options would ferry riders like to see?
  • What percentage of passengers drive, bike or walk to or from the ferry?
  • How far do people travel to get to or from a specific ferry run?
  • What type of fare do people pay to ride the ferry?
  • How many passengers telecommute, and if so, how many days per week?

How does WSF use the results of the survey?
After WSF collects and analyzes passenger responses to the O&D surveys, the results are used by the agency and decision makers in a number of ways:

  • Matching ferry service with customer needs
  • Running an efficient ferry operation
  • Informing WSF’s long-range service planning
  • Providing input to capital improvement needs
  • Working with communities on managing local traffic impacts

Joy Goldenberg
Communications Manager
WSF Communications
2901 Third Avenue, Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98121