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ADA & Medical Travel

Welcome aboard Washington State Ferries (WSF). Washington State Ferries is something to everyone - a highway, a transit system or an adventure.

Over the last several years WSF has worked hard to make your sailing experience more accessible. This information is meant to be a reference for persons with disabilities, senior citizens, advocates and service agencies. To make your journey with WSF more accessible and user-friendly use the links below to assist in your travels:

ADA Reduced Fares
People with disabilities may qualify for reduced passenger fares on any route. Those who also require attendant care while traveling must obtain an endorsement to allow their attendant to travel free as a passenger. Vehicle fares are not discounted.

The day of your trip arrive early
Arrive at the terminal at least 20 minutes in advance of the sailing. A ticket seller may not notice your disabled license plate or placard, so please bring it to our attention. Show the necessary permits if you are requesting a discounted fare, and ask about specific accommodation, if necessary. We will do our best to meet your needs, but accommodations for all passengers are made on a first-come, space-available basis.

WSF is in the process of upgrading and re-evaluating our service for disabled passengers. Although we are a "work in progress," we are striving to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to conveniently access and use the ferry system.

Each vessel and terminal in the WSF fleet is unique. Some are new; others have recently been refurbished. To maximize access, you need to combine the use of terminal and vessel facilities. This guide will give you enough information to make realistic choices about your use of the ferry system.

Fleet Information
Our fleet is comprised of 23 vessels that vary widely in age and design. Accessibility for disabled passengers is very dependent on the age and renovation status of the vessel.

Call us before you sail
Planning ahead is the best way to ensure comfortable travel. The combination of vessels and terminals that you use will affect your trip. First, review the
terminal and vessel accessibility pages.

In order to best ensure that passengers with disabilities are accommodated to the fullest extent possible, WSF recommends, but does not require that you contact us in advance. At least 24 hours in advance of your departure, call our customer information staff at 206-464-6400. Tell us the route and the approximate time you wish to travel (for example, Seattle to Bainbridge Island in the afternoon hours). We can tell you which vessels will be serving the route, and the physical layout of the ferry.

Vessels are assigned to different routes - sometimes on extremely short notice - depending on time of year and vessel maintenance and repair needs. We can give you recommendations for sailing times and identify vessels and terminals that best accommodate your needs.

Service Animals
Animals, except service animals, are not allowed in terminal buildings or above the vehicle decks, unless they are in a pet carrier; however, they are permitted on the exposed upper decks of vessels on some routes (see our
pet policy page for details). Contact terminal staff for loading procedures as vessel and terminal configurations vary. Animals that are not people-friendly should be muzzled or transported in a pet carrier.

Fares/ Permits/ Passes
We offer seniors (65+), persons with disabilities and passengers with a Medicare card or other eligibility verification, travel at half the regular passenger fare rate. The vehicle portion of the fare is not discounted.

To receive this rate, you must present your WSF Disability Permit, Regional Reduced Fare Permit, or other identification documenting eligibility when you arrive at the ferry terminal.

Discounts apply to passengers as well as specially equipped vehicles. Passengers requiring the use of an overheight vehicle (7’2” or above) equipped with a wheelchair lift or ramp may travel at the posted standard vehicle (or car) fare. If a person with a disability is in the vehicle, you do not pay the overheight surcharge for wheelchair lifts. If a person with a disability is not present, then you do pay the overheight surcharge. Vehicles that are over 7’2” high due to wheelchair lifts or ramps do not pay the overheight surcharge as long as the person with a disability is in the vehicle.

WSF Disability Travel Permit
This permit is free and only valid on WSF. If you require transit as well, you need an
ORCA Regional Reduced Fare Permit. The WSF Disability Travel Permit requires application information and appropriate medical authorization for permit and attendant care endorsement. The WSF permit provides a reduced fare for those who qualify. People with disabilities may qualify for reduced passenger fares on any route. At the time of travel please inform the seller if you want the half-price fare. Vehicle fares are never discounted.

For information or to get an application for the WSF Ferry Disability Travel Permit, please call WSF at 888-808-7977 (WA & BC).

WSF encourages its customers to use the ORCA Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP), if possible. The WSF permit has been developed for those who can't conveniently access the regional transit systems who issue the RRFP.

ORCA Regional Reduced Fare Permit 
Senior citizens and persons with disabilities may ride the bus, train or ferry at a reduced rate with a valid Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP) ORCA card. To obtain an RRFP, bring proof of age (65+), proof of disability or a valid Medicare card to your local transit agency's Customer Service Office. For the best service we recommend going to the Customer Service Office between the 10th and the 20th of the month. RRFP for seniors can also be ordered through the mail by providing a copy of proof of age (65+).

Once you have your ORCA RRFP, simply load a dollar value onto the electronic purse (E-purse) and each time you ride WSF, the discounted fare (50 percent off passenger travel – no car/driver discount) will be taken out of the E-purse. 

Trip Assistance/Attendant Travel 

  • All WSF employees have critical functions to perform during loading and unloading operations.
  • If you need assistance with transport, wheelchair, etc., please bring an attendant. All terminals have wheelchairs available upon request.
  • We will make every attempt to assist you, dependent on time, safety and employee availability.
  • If you have an attendant endorsement, for both the WSF Disability Travel Permit and the ORCA RRFP, attendants ride free as passengers/walk-ons.

Attended Care for Groups
WSF operates a program for organizations that transport large groups of customers who need assistance (such as senior centers, nursing homes, and assisted living centers) that allows support staff to travel without paying additional fares. To apply for a permit for your organization through this program, please contact WSF at 888-808-7977

ADA Paratransit Identification Card
Ride paratransit (Dial-a-Ride) transportation within the greater Puget Sound region and nationally. Applications and cards are distributed by local transit agencies. Riders can travel and transfer among all transit agencies including Washington State Ferries. Out-of-state paratransit ID cards are honored by WSF. Attendant endorsement is available with this card.  

For information on Medical Preferential Approval, please contact WSF at 206-464-6400 or 1-888-808-7977.

Medical Preferential Travel

For more information on the WSF Ferry Disability Travel Permit, please call WSF

(WA only)

ADA Contact Information
General Information
888-808-7977 WA & B.C.
511 (WA)
206-515-3437 - ADA Accessibility Coordinator
Sign up for route specific ADA e-mail alerts.

Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may access Washington state telecommunications relay service by dialing 711 (WA) and asking to be connected to 206-515-3460.