The Triangle: Improving Service on the F/V/S Route

The Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route, also known as "the Triangle," is constrained by several factors that negatively affect customers and neighbors of the route. Over the years, Washington State Ferries (WSF) staff and Ferry Advisory Committee members have made many well-intentioned attempts to overcome these constraints and fix the Triangle. So far, none of the attempts has resulted in the operational improvements we all seek. With this in mind, WSF launched a public process to understand citizens' ideas to improve the route. As part of this process, WSF convened a citizen advisory group called the Triangle Improvement Task Force, and advisory group comprised of volunteers from each community served by the route. The goal of the task force, which convened in January 2017 and completed phase 1 of its work in March 2017,  is to recommend strategies to improve performance on the Triangle route. 

This web page serves as the main communication channel for the Triangle route improvement process. Below you will find the latest Triangle Improvement Task Force status updates and upcoming milestones, along with the notes, records and other documents used in the on-going public process.

Phase 2: Fauntleroy tollbooth and traffic changes and buying tickets in advance

WSF and the task force implemented changes to Fauntleroy traffic patterns and launched a campaign to have customers purchase tickets in advance wih the aim of improving efficiency at the tollbooth during peak commute time.

Materials:

Phase 1: "Quick wins"

During phase one, the task force met five times between January and March to study the route and identify “quick wins” for WSF to implement this summer. Quick Wins Report (pdf 196 kb)

On March 27, 2017, the task force recommended two “quick wins”:

  1. Improve vehicle processing at the Fauntleroy tollbooths, in order to get more vehicles through at peak time.
  2. Launch a public information campaign to educate drivers about steps they can take to save time while using the route.

The task force expects these recommendations to produce incremental improvements in the route’s performance this summer.

WSF will assess and implement, pilot and implement the “quick win” recommendations by June 25, 2017, providing regular status updates to the task force regarding the implementation process.

Latest News

June 19, 2017 - WSF implemented the Triangle Task Force community advisory group recommendations for new tollbooth procedures. 

June 13, 2017 - WSF is implementing changes to Fauntleroy traffic patterns (pdf 962 kb) with the aim of improving efficiency at the tollbooth during peak commute time. Starting June 19, all drivers must stop at the tollbooth to buy or redeem tickets. Drivers will receive a destination card and a receipt, and will no longer have to stop again after the tollbooth to scan tickets. Instead, they must keep their destination cards visible, and will be directed to the appropriate holding lane. While we expect the new process to be more efficient than the current one, customers could still experience extended wait times during the busy summer season when the volume of vehicles waiting to board exceeds capacity. We will closely monitor how things are working for at least 30 days, and will make any necessary improvements or adjustments based on the performance data.  Last, but not least, please follow all instructions from WSF staff and signs, and be patient while employees and other customers learn the new procedures. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

June 9, 2017 - The preliminary data is in! The Triangle Task Force community advisory group recommendations for new tollbooth procedures helped WSF move approximately 85 more vehicles a day between 3 and 6 p.m., compared to an average evening commute. During the pilot study (May 15-18), WSF and the Task Force implemented procedural changes to see if we could get more vehicles through the tollbooth at peak commute time. In addition to achieving our goal, WSF and members of the Task Dorce also observed a safer, more orderly flow of traffic on the dock and Fauntleroy Way. 

Next steps: WSF aims to implement the Task Force-recommended new tollbooth procedures on June 19, 2017. Customers may not notice a significant reduction to wait times on the dock or on Fauntleroy Way during the initial change period; however, we will continue to adapt and make improvements to the process on an ongoing basis. 

May 24, 2017 - The summer task force meeting schedule has been announced. All meetings will be held at Fauntleroy Church located at 9140 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98136.

  • Tuesday, June 6, 4:30 – 7 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, July 12, 4 – 7 p.m. 
  • Thursday, August 10, 4:30 – 7 p.m. 
  • Thursday, September 14, 4:30 – 7 p.m.

May 8, 2017 - The Triangle Improvement Task Force and Washington State Ferries are working to get drivers onto ferries faster at the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal. WSF will test new tollbooth procedures from Monday, May 15, to Thursday, May 18  (pdf 291 kb). The new procedures are intended to get more vehicles through the tollbooth at peak commute times. This is only a test. Traffic pattern will return to normal on Friday, May 19. Should the new procedures work well, WSF will implement them as soon as possible. Otherwise, WSF will amend them and conduct another test. 

May 4, 2017 - The Triangle Improvement Task Force held its sixth meeting from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, 2017. The meeting was held at the Fauntleroy Church Fellowship Hall located at 9140 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98136. This meeting covered the following topics: Tollbooth quick win implementation update (phase 1 of task force), and the plan and priorities of phase 2 of the task force process. Meeting agenda (pdf 77kb), Meeting notes (pdf 86 kb)

March 27, 2017 - The Triangle Improvement Task Force held its fifth meeting from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday, March 27, 2017. The meeting was held at the Fauntleroy Church Fellowship Hall located at 9140 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98136. This meeting covered the following topics:Tollbooth quick win review and refinement (phase 1 of task force), review and agreement of public awareness plan (will be part of phase 2), plan and scope phase 2 of  the task force process. Meeting agenda (pdf 74 kb). 

March 13, 2017 - The Triangle Improvement Task Force held its fourth meeting from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday, March 13, 2017. The meeting was held at the Fauntleroy Church Fellowship Hall located at 9140 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98136. This meeting covered the following topics: Tollbooth quick win prototypes, filling the boat and leaving on time; review a draft public awareness plan to encourage riders to buy tickets in advance. The meeting was open to the public. Meeting agenda (pdf 68 kb), Meeting notes (pdf 99 kb)

Feb. 27, 2017  - The Triangle Improvement Task Force held its third meeting from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. The meeting was held at the Fauntleroy Church Fellowship Hall located at 9140 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98136. This meeting covered the following topics: WSF progress report of quick wins won, discussion on how to improve traffic flow at Fauntleroy including a "bypass lane deep dive," explanation of how the Triangle route (F/V/S) operates, review of  additional quick win options and next steps. The meeting was open to the public. Meeting agenda (pdf 76 kb) 

Feb. 13, 2017 - The Triangle Improvement Task Force held its second meeting from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. The meeting was held at the Fauntleroy Church Fellowship Hall located at 9140 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98136. This meeting covered the following topics: Approve charter, learn about past efforts, understand operations at Fauntleroy, agree on "quick wins." The meeting was open to the public. Meeting agenda (pdf 76 kb). Official notes document (Draft) (pdf 354 kb). 

Jan. 30, 2017: The Triangle Improvement Task Force held its first meeting from 7 to 8:30 pm on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. The meeting was held at the Fauntleroy Church Fellowship Hall located at 9140 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98136. This introductory meeting covered the following topics: task force member introductions; review of task force goals, scope and work timeline; and a discussion of route characteristics. The meeting was open to the public. Official notes document (pdf 119 kb)

Nov. 17, 2016: Washington State Ferries held three listening meetings in Fauntleroy, Vashon Island and Southworth communities from Oct. 24 to Oct. 27, 2016. During those meetings, Lynne Griffith and members of WSF’s executive team heard from more than 120 people and captured more than 400 comments on a wide range of issues affecting stakeholders in the route. Those comments are captured in the official notes document (pdf 293 kb).