Washington State Ferries (WSF) continues working hard to restore ferry service capacity and reliability to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels. In order to do so, they need adequate staffing and a reliable fleet that can meet the increasing demand.
Target Staffing Levels
According to their latest progress report, WSF ended 2022 with a net gain of 92 employees, 61 of whom are new fleet employees.
In total in 2022, they hired 233 new employees while 141 employees left due to retirement or other reasons.
However, even with the net increase in employees in 2022, they are currently operating at 91%, or 102 employees short, of their target staffing levels. They need 1,148 fleet employees, but currently employ 1,046.
Ferry Service Restoration
For a ferry route to be considered fully restored, WSF needs to see reliability on that route operate at 95% or above for three consecutive weeks.
The Edmonds – Kingston Ferry route should be considered fully restored very soon. It achieved 99% reliability over the past two weeks. However, a bent propeller on MV Puyallup early in the route’s trial period disrupted service and prevented the route from having a 95% reliability score across three consecutive weeks.