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Friday, June 01, 2012
Marta Coursey, WSF director of communications, 206-515-3918
SEATTLE – Reserving a spot on select ferry routes becomes easier and more convenient June 4 when Washington State Ferries launches its Save A Spot reservation system for Anacortes/Sidney B.C. customers and June 13 for Port Townsend/Coupeville customers and commercial customers of Anacortes/San Juan Islands.
The new system upgrades existing vehicle reservation options by allowing users to reserve a sailing six months in advance on some routes and modify their reservation online, among other features. The current system doesn’t allow for online modifications and accepts reservations only one month ahead.
Reservations are available for ferry customers of the Port Townsend/Coupeville and Anacortes/Sidney, B.C., routes. They are also available for business customers, such as commercial trucks and buses, on San Juan Island routes, which include Orcas, Shaw, Lopez and Friday Harbor. WSF plans to evaluate reservation operations on these routes and eventually expand to other routes in the next few years.
“Starting this month ferry riders will have a reservation system that’s easier and more convenient,” said David Moseley, assistant secretary for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “Reservations are a great way to enjoy predictable and convenient travel on ferries, especially as we approach the busy summer season.”
Moseley said ferry reservations are also important for reducing or eliminating traffic congestion on roads leading to terminals, reducing air pollution from idling vehicles, saving money by mitigating the need for terminal expansion, and reducing traffic control costs and holding-area maintenance costs.
WSF long-range planning through 2030 shows that a system-wide reservation system would save $280 million in capital improvements by avoiding the need to expand ferry terminals and holding areas to accommodate increases in vehicle traffic.
Save A Spot vehicle reservations offer these options and policies:
- Reservations may be made one month in advance for busy sailings and six months in advance for all other sailings.
- Customers can change or cancel a reservation with no penalty up to 24 hours prior to the reserved sailing. Deposits for missed reservations may be applied toward travel from the same terminal later that day.
- Most customers will be required to pay a deposit, which will be credited towards the total fare due at the time of travel.
- Transactions online will be much faster than before since customer account profiles will be saved.
- Bar-coded confirmations will speed up transactions at the terminal.
- Special customer account programs will be available, including Executive, Premier and Universal. Executive and Premier customers will have special benefits, such as not paying a deposit for a reservation and access to reservations spaces set aside specifically for these accounts.
View more information about Save A Spot features and policies.
During the transition to Save A Spot, customers should be aware of these issues:
- To reserve a sailing for the remainder of the spring schedule, June 1-16, customers must do so by June 3 using the current reservations Web page or by calling 1-888-808-7977.
- For the summer schedule beginning Sunday, June 17, customers will be able use the new Save A Spot reservation system, beginning June 4 for Anacortes/Sidney B.C. and June 13 for Port Townsend/Coupeville and commercial-only for Anacortes/San Juan Islands.
Moseley noted that the success of the enhanced reservation system is a direct result of the efforts of many people, including WSF personnel from operations, information technology and terminal staff, and partnership with community representatives from Port Townsend and Coupeville.
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