There is a growing need to manage traffic growth impacts on the WSF San Juan Island Service routes. Vessel and terminal capacities have nearly reached their maximum capacities. Unless terminal expansions occur to add multiple docking slips at several terminals, vessel service capacity cannot be expanded to keep pace with the growth in traffic demand. The "San Juan County Transportation Policy Plan" adopted in 1989 does not recommend physical expansion alternatives for meeting traffic growth. Instead, it recommends non-physical alternatives, including establishment of a reservation system "that will enable residents to obtain assured ferry space."
A reservation system would be a means of controlling traffic demand to fit available service capacity. This report presents a proposal for use of a reservation system to manage ferry traffic access to the San Juan Islands and to offer island resident priority access to available capacity within the limitations of current state law. This proposal was not accepted by the island residents when presented during the Spring of 1991.