(The Center Square) – The Washington State Transportation Commission is on the cusp of approving an increase of ferry fees for passengers and vehicles by 4.25% that goes into effect this October and again in October 2024.

The transportation commission said that forecasts showed the fare hikes would raise nearly $419 million over the 2023-25 biennium.

The proposed fare bumps are based on recommendations from Washington State Ferries, which held a series of online meetings this spring to gather public input.

The proposal would simultaneously offer some relief to regular riders in the form of boosting a multiride discount by 1%. That discount would expire on Sept. 30, 2025.

The transportation commission holds its final in-person hearing to adopt fare changes at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 10 at the Puget Sound Regional Council Board Room located at 1011 Western Ave. Suite 500 in Seattle.

Those who wish to attend the meeting virtually can do so by registering here.

The hearing will be broadcast live on TVW, Washington’s public affairs network.

Pending approval, the new fares would go into effect on Oct. 1.

WSF operates the largest ferry system in the country, with 21 ferries across Puget Sound and the greater Salish Sea and routes that range between Tacoma and British Columbia, Canada.

The agency, dealing with staffing shortages, is currently struggling to restore full pre-COVID-19 pandemic service.

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