This is a huge bummer. Port Townsend has given up on its plans for a passenger ferry to Seattle, citing a lack of expected ridership.
We reported previously that the ferry was expected to start as early as the spring of 2013, finally creating an easy and fast way for people to get between the two cities without a car.
However, the Port Townsend Leader reports that the city has decided to return the federal grant they received to start the project:
The Port of Port Townsend Commission has voted 3-0 to cancel its passenger-only ferry project and return its federal grant.
During the commission’s Nov. 13 meeting, Executive Director Larry Crockett recommended that the $1.3 million Federal Transit Authority grant, awarded in 2010, be returned in its entirety. The money could have only been spent on a passenger-only ferry (POF), a project which Crockett has said is not supported by rider interest in Jefferson County.
“I’ve come to the conclusion we’re so small as a community,” Crockett said, adding the population figures for the City of Port Townsend barely qualifies it as a city compared to some metropolitan areas.
“This is not the right time for a passenger ferry,” he said. “I think this was a concept that needed to be explored, I think the port manned up and did that to best of our ability.”
UPDATE: I confirmed with Olympic Bus Lines that you can bring a bike on the Dungeness line to Port Townsend or Port Angeles for an additional $5. Those tickets cost $39 from the Seattle Grayhound Station (w/o bike) for one-way or $69 round-trip. So you and your bike can still get out there using transit. The trip takes about two and a half hours and buses leave twice a day.
Other than biking the whole way, does anyone know any other car-free ways to get to Port Townsend or Port Angeles?