Getting to Colman Dock

More changes for driverspedestrians, and bicycles  now in effect

  • Bainbridge Island on and off-loading for vehicles and walk-on customers now use the southern slip (slip 1). All drivers coming from Bainbridge Island to Seattle now exit at Yesler Way only.
  • Bremerton drive-on and walk-on customers now use the middle slip (slip 2). All drivers coming from Bremerton now exit at Marion Street only.
  • Northern slip (slip 3) is closed and will be demolished. 
  • New holding areas for bicycles and motorcycles on both routes.
  • New card reader on the south side of the toll plaza for bicycles.

Why are these changes needed?

  • Shifting the vehicle holding areas allows us to make the most efficient use of available vehicle holding space on the dock as construction expands through mid-summer 2019.
  • This change also allows us to offer full ferry service for millions of commuters and ferry riders while working to rebuild the aging and seismically-vulnerable Seattle ferry terminal at the same time. 

What else is being done to maximize room for vehicles waiting for the ferry at Colman Dock? 

  • Our contractor is using up to three barges at a time to operate very large construction cranes and stage necessary equipment that would otherwise need to be stored on the dock. We are working on four different sections of the project at the same time. Crews are building the new passenger-only ferry terminal and the first section of the new main ferry terminal building while demolishing the northwest corner of the main terminal building in use today and rebuilding the entire north half of the trestle, between the terminal building and the temporary passenger-only ferry dock
  • All of the work on this complex project is happening while we maintain full ferry service to and from Seattle. ​

Driving a vehicle onto the ferry

Map showing how vehicles enter the toll plaza and waiting lanes at Colman Dock in Seattle

Getting to the dock in Seattle

  • All drivers enter at South Jackson Street from Alaskan Way South.
  • During busy times, terminal attendants will direct emergency vehicles and customers with medical priority loading status, as well as registered vanpools and motorcycles to bypass the general queuing lane.

On the dock

  • New! Bremerton vehicle holding is in the middle of the dock closest to the terminal building.
    • All Bremerton drivers must exit at Marion Street.
  • New! No trucks over 40-feet long permitted on inbound sailings from Bremerton to Seattle.
  • New! Bainbridge Island vehicle holding is on the south side of the dock.
    • All Bainbridge Island drivers must exit at Yesler Way.

Priority access to the toll plaza

  • Registered vanpools, medical access vehicles and motorcycles have priority access to the toll plaza from Pier 48 during busy times.
  • Registered vanpools receive priority loading onto the ferry whenever possible. 
  • Bainbridge Island motorcycles queue in southern most lanes and load the ferry after bicycles. 
  • Bremerton motorcycles queue in the northern most lanes and load the ferry after bicycles. 

Tips for driving onto the ferry at Colman Dock:

  • There is a lot of congestion along the busy Seattle waterfront. Check traffic conditions before leaving, and be prepared to add up to 30 minutes of additional travel time to get to the dock. You can get information about current conditions on the Seattle/Bainbridge Island and Seattle/Bremerton routes on Twitter (@WSFerries) or, sign up for route alerts by email or text..
  • Take an off-peak sailing. Fewer people drive onto a ferry before 3 p.m. or after 7 p.m.
  • If possible, consider walking on the ferry instead of driving.

Riding a bicycle onto the ferry

Colman Dock is an active construction zone. For your safety, it is critical that bicycle riders follow all signs and stay in designated holding lanes and bicycle pathways when traveling to and from the ferry. We appreciate your cooperation and patience.   

Map of bicycle entry paths at Colman Dock

Getting to the dock in Seattle on a bicycle

Bicycles receive priority access to all sailings, and pay the round-trip passenger fare on the Seattle-side at Colman Dock only.

  • Bainbridge Island riders
    • Coming from the north, use the sidewalk and crosswalk at Yesler Way to enter the toll plaza
    • Coming from the south, use the ferry access lane or crosswalk to enter the toll plaza
    • ORCA card holders may use the ORCA card reader on south side of the toll plaza. All other riders must enter through the toll plaza.
    • All riders wait for the Bainbridge Island ferry in the designated bicycle holding lane, the southernmost lane on the dock.
  • Bremerton riders
    • Coming from the north or south, enter from sidewalk north of Yesler Way.
    • ORCA card holders may use card reader on north side of the toll plaza.  All other riders must enter through the toll plaza.
    • All riders wait for the Bremerton ferry in the designated bicycle holding lane, the northernmost lane on the dock.
  • Additional information about bicycle routes along the waterfront.

Exiting the ferry in Seattle on a bicycle
Cyclists are allowed to off-load the ferry in three separate groups, depending on their preference: at the beginning, middle and end of the vehicle off-loading process.    

Map of bicycle exit paths at Colman Dock

  • Bainbridge Island riders
    • Bikes that off-load first, before vehicles, should follow the exit lane to Yesler Way; this lane is marked with bicycle sharrows.
    • Bikes that exit during the middle or final off-load may stay in the exit lane to Yesler Way or use the dedicated bike pathway to the Marion Street exit. Please look for signage and barricades that designate this route. Do not cut across the holding lanes or exit through the toll plaza.
  • Bremerton riders
    • Follow the exit lane to Marion Street; this lane is marked with bicycle sharrows. Do not cut across the holding lanes or exit through the toll plaza.

 

Walking onto the ferry

Map showing how pedestrians get to Colman Dock

Dropping off or picking up passengers at the dock? 

  • The passenger loading zone remains in front of the main terminal building entrance on Alaskan Way between Madison and Columbia streets.

  Tips for walk-ons:

  • Even if there is a long line inside the passenger terminal building, you do not need to arrive very early to ensure a seat aboard the ferry. Arriving five or ten minutes before your sailing is sufficient. 
  • Check VesselWatch to see if your boat is on time, consider buying your ticket online in advance. 
  • There is plenty of room on the Bremerton and Bainbridge Island ferries to accomodate between 1500 and 2500 passengers. 
  • The only time we approach full walk-on capacity is during major events such as a sports team playoff or series championship games.