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ADA & Medical Preferential Travel

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The Accessible Ferry Intro Reduced fares
The Day of Your Trip Our fleet
Call us before you Sail Overview of Vessels
Regional Reduced Fare Permit Vessel Features
ADA Paratransit ID Overview of Terminals
WSF Disability Travel Permit Terminal Features
Contacts Medical Priority

 

The Accessible Ferry

A Guide for Disabled Passengers
Welcome aboard Washington State Ferries (WSF). This guide will help you combine vessel and terminal accessibility to ride the ferries conveniently and comfortably. As you make your travel plans, be sure to check with us by phone to confirm vessel service on specific routes. This publication is also available in Braille, and will be provided in alternative formats upon request. Call 206-515-3460 to obtain a copy.

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.

Call us before you sail
Planning ahead is the best way to ensure comfortable travel. The combination of vessel and terminals that you use will affect your trip. First, review the terminal and vessel accessibility chart in this brochure on pages 8-9 and 11. Then, 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.

Reduced Fares
People with disabilities may qualify for reduced passenger tolls 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. Current fare and time schedule information is available at all terminals, on vessels, or by mail. Call (206) 464-6400 to request fare and time schedules. Reduced ferry fares for disabled passengers are available through these programs:

Regional Reduced Fare Permit:
This permit gives disabled passengers discount fares on several Puget Sound transportation systems including the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar, the Seattle Monorail and the Washington State Ferries. This permit is issued by the Customer Service Department of Metro Transit in Seattle and requires that a photo be taken on site in Seattle. Attendants may ride free if proper endorsement is obtained.

Both the Regional Reduced Fare Permit and the WSF Disability Travel Permit may allow attendants to ride free on Washington State Ferries if the permits are so endorsed. However, discount fares or free fares apply only to the passengers. Vehicle fares are not discounted.

Washington State Ferry Disability Travel Permit:
Washington State Ferries encourages its customers to utilize the Regional Reduced Fare Permit, if possible. The WSF permit has been developed for those who can't access regional transit permits. The WSF Disability Travel Permit requires application information and appropriate medical authorization for the permit, or for attendant care endorsement. The WSF permit provides a reduced fare for those who qualify.

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 and are issued permanently. Riders can travel and transfer among all transit agencies including Washington State Ferries. Out of state paratransit ID Cards are honored by WSF. No attendant endorsement is available with this card.

How do I get a Card?
For more information on the ADA Paratransit ID card or the Regional Reduced Fare Permit, please call one of the following transit agencies.

 

Community Transit
(Snohomish County): 1-800-562-1375

Everett Transit
(City of Everett, Snohomish County): 425-259-8730

Intercity Transit
(Olympia, Thurston County): 360-786-1881

Jefferson Transit
(Port Townsend, Jefferson County): 360-385-4777

Kitsap Transit
(Bremerton, Kitsap County): 360-373-BUSS (2877)

Metro Transit
(Seattle, King County): 206-553-3000

Pierce Transit
(Tacoma, Pierce County): 253-581-8000

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

Washington State Ferries:
1-206-464-6400
1-888-808-7977
(Washington State only)

Our Fleet
Our fleet is comprised of 28 vessels that vary widely in age and design. Accessibility for disabled passengers is very dependent on the age and renovation status of the vessel. The following short description tells you what you might expect on each type of vessel.

Overview of Vessels
Jumbo Mark II ferries are the newest and largest in our fleet, and carry over 200 cars. These vessels include the Wenatchee, Puyallup, and Tacoma. The Jumbo Mark II boats are designed to separate walk-on and auto traffic. They are wheelchair accessible in two ways: You can board from a passenger ramp from certain terminals, or you can drive on. When you drive on, you can park on the car deck and take an elevator to the main passenger deck and sundeck of the ferry. On passenger decks of these ferries, you will find accessible restrooms and dining areas with food service areas with a minimum 32" clearance. Food service counters are 34" from the floor. If you are traveling by car and want to park near the elevator, be sure to let the ticket seller know when you pay your toll. Space for all passengers is allocated on a first-come, space available basis. No wheelchair tie downs are available.

Our next largest ferries, the Jumbo and Super Class, carry 160 to 200 cars. These boats include the Spokane, Walla Walla, Hyak, Yakima, Elwha, and Kaleetan. Accessibility varies widely on these vessels. The passenger decks of the Spokane, Walla Walla, Hyak, Yakima, and the Kaleetan are not accessible to the disabled from a car deck elevator. The passenger decks on these vessels are accessible only to walk-ons or those in wheelchairs if the vessel is sailing to and from terminals with overhead passenger loading ramps. The Elwha has an accessible elevator from the car deck to the passenger deck. The Kaleetan and the Yakima have an accessible shelter and an accessible restroom on the car deck. The Spokane, Walla Walla, Elwha, and the Hyak do not have accessible shelters or restrooms on the car deck. When you arrive at the terminal, notify the ticket seller if you need to park near a particular facility. Dining areas on the Spokane, Walla Walla, and the Elwha have the same clearances and counter heights described on the Jumbo Mark II ferries. Other vessels do not have accessible dining areas. No wheelchair tie-downs are available on these vessels.

The Issaquah Class carries 100 to 130 cars and includes the Issaquah, Chelan, Sealth, Kitsap, Kittitas, and the Cathlamet. The Evergreen Class carries 100 cars and includes the Evergreen State, Klahowya, and Tillikum. These vessels have elevator access from the auto deck to the passenger deck. Notify a ticket seller if you are traveling by car and need to park near an elevator. These vessels have accessible restrooms located on the main passenger deck. Dining areas have the same clearances and counter heights described in the Jumbo Mark II ferries. No wheelchair tie-downs are available.

All of our passenger-only ferries, including the Kalama, Skagit, Chinook, and Snohomish, are equipped with accessible restrooms, adequate shelter, and wheelchair tie downs. There is no food service available on these vessels. At this time, access from street level to vessel passenger decks for these ferries may be difficult for some disabled passengers. The slope of the ramps leading to the decks, can be dramatically affected by tides.

For more info view WSF vessel features.

Overview of Terminals
Our six largest terminals - Seattle-Colman Dock, Bremerton, Edmonds, Bainbridge Island, Kingston, and Anacortes have good accessibility from street level to vessel passenger decks via overhead loading ramps, or elevators. While other terminals may not have that accessibility, many of the ferries servicing those docks have elevator service from the auto deck to the main deck of the boat. At the Anacortes terminal, the gateway to the San Juan Islands, disabled passengers can board with overhead loading ramps. However, all passengers and autos load and unload from the car deck at individual islands. You must be on a vessel that has an elevator to the car deck if you can't walk down stairs to the car deck. To use the best combination of terminal and vessel, you should call us.

All terminals, with the exception of Tahlequah, have accessible restrooms; and all terminals, with the exception of Shaw Island in the San Juan Islands, have adequate shelter.

While we want to assist you whenever possible, Washington State Ferries does not provide any porter service for customers. All employees have critical functions to perform during loading and unloading operations. If you need assistance with luggage, a wheelchair, etc., please bring an attendant. Remember, with proper endorsement, an attendant rides free.

Special Notes:
Federal law allows service animals in all public areas of our terminals and aboard Washington State Ferries.

Oxygen tanks, respirators and other medical equipment are permitted on Washington State Ferries.


ADA Terminal Features
Terminal

Elevator

Restroom

Overhead
Passenger
Loading

Food
Service

Waiting
Room

Sidney, B.C.

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Friday Harbor

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Orcas Island

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Shaw Island

No

Temp

No

No

 

 

Lopez Island

No

Temp

No

No

Yes

Anacortes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Keystone

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Port Townsend

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Clinton

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Mukilteo

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Kingston

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Edmonds

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Bainbridge

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Bremerton

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Seattle-Pier 52
(passenger-vehicle ferry)

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Seattle-Pier 50 (Pass-Only)

No

Temp

N/A

No

Yes

Fauntleroy (West Seattle)

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Vashon

No

Yes

No

No

 

Southworth

No

Yes

No

No

 

Point Defiance

No

Yes

No

No

 

Tahlequah

No

No

No

No

No

Contacts:
(206) 464-6400 General Information
1-888-808-7977 Washington only

Disabled persons may request that sailing schedule information be prepared and supplied in alternative forms by calling:
206-515-3460.

Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact WSF through the Washington Relay Service at 7-1-1.

Medical Priority
For information on Medical Priorities please call our Information Agents for details. For local and out of state calls: (206) 464-6400. Toll free, 1-888-808-7977 (WA only).