Taking a ferry ride across the Puget Sound is a quintessential part of the Washington state experience. With billions in revenue each year, Washington State Ferries is the largest ferry system in the United States. But how much does it cost to ride the ferry in Washington?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about Washington State Ferries fares and fees.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Standard passenger fares on Washington State Ferries range from $2-$10.50 for adults depending on the route. There are discounts for youth, seniors, disabled riders, and multiride cards.
Vehicle fares range from $5.70-$23.05 depending on the route and vehicle size and type.
Types of Fares on Washington State Ferries
Passenger fares on Washington State Ferries vary depending on the route and the age category of the passenger. The fares are categorized into three age groups: adult, senior/disabled, and youth. Adult fares are for passengers aged 19 to 64, senior/disabled fares are for those aged 65 and older or with a disability, and youth fares are for passengers aged 6 to 18.
The fares for passenger-only ferries, such as the ones serving the Seattle-Bainbridge Island and Seattle-Bremerton routes, are separate from the standard passenger fares.
Vehicle fares on Washington State Ferries are determined by the size and type of the vehicle. The fares are divided into different categories, including motorcycles, cars, trucks, and trailers. Motorcycles typically have the lowest fares, while larger vehicles like trucks and trailers have higher fares.
It’s important to note that oversized vehicles may have additional fees.
For a comprehensive list of vehicle fares, you can visit the official Washington State Ferries website.
Washington State Ferries offer multiride cards as a convenient way to save money for frequent travelers. These cards allow passengers to purchase multiple trips at a discounted rate. The fares on multiride cards are typically lower than the standard fares, making them a cost-effective option for commuters or regular ferry users.
There are different types of multiride cards available, such as the monthly pass, which offers unlimited travel for a fixed fee within a calendar month, and the frequent user card, which offers discounted fares for a certain number of trips. These cards can be purchased online or at ticket booths.
For more information on multiride cards and their availability, you can visit the official Washington State Ferries website.
Passenger Fares Breakdown
Fares by Route
Washington State Ferries offers a range of passenger fares depending on the route you are traveling. Fares are determined by factors such as distance, time of day, and the type of ticket you purchase. The fare structure is designed to be fair and equitable for all passengers.
For example, on the Seattle-Bainbridge Island route, the one-way adult fare is $8.50, while the one-way youth fare (ages 6-18) is $4.25. Seniors (65 and over) can enjoy a discounted fare of $4.25. Bicycles can be brought on board for a fee of $2.00.
It’s important to note that fares may vary on different routes, so it’s always a good idea to check the official Washington State Ferries website for the most up-to-date fare information.
Discounts and Free Travel
Washington State Ferries offers several discounts and options for free travel. Seniors, youth, and passengers with disabilities can enjoy discounted fares on all routes. Additionally, children under the age of 5 can travel for free.
There are also special programs such as the Multi-Ride Card, which offers discounted fares for frequent travelers. The Commuter Pass is another option for those who travel regularly between specific routes.
It’s worth mentioning that there are no additional fees for bringing strollers, car seats, or wheelchairs on board. However, it’s recommended to secure these items properly for the safety of all passengers.
Paying Your Fare
Washington State Ferries provides a variety of convenient ways to pay your fare. The most common method is to pay with cash or card at the ticket booth located at the terminal. However, it’s important to note that some terminals may only accept cash.
Another option is to purchase your ticket online in advance, which allows for a smoother boarding process. You can simply present your e-ticket or mobile ticket when boarding the ferry.
If you frequently travel on Washington State Ferries, you can also consider getting an ORCA card. This reusable smart card allows you to load funds and enjoy seamless travel across various transportation systems in the region.
Vehicle Fares Breakdown
Vehicle Types and Base Fares
When it comes to traveling with your vehicle on Washington State Ferries, it’s important to understand the different vehicle types and their corresponding base fares. Whether you’re driving a car, motorcycle, RV, or towing a trailer, each vehicle type has its own fare structure.
For example, the base fare for a standard car or truck is currently $15.00 for a one-way trip. Motorcycles, on the other hand, have a base fare of $9.75. Larger vehicles such as RVs and buses have higher base fares due to their size and space requirements.
In addition to the base fares, certain vehicles may be subject to surcharges. These surcharges are usually applied to vehicles that exceed a certain size or weight limit. For instance, vehicles over 22 feet in length are subject to a surcharge of $2.00 per additional foot.
It’s important to note that the surcharges can vary depending on the route and time of travel. For the most accurate and up-to-date information on surcharges, it’s recommended to visit the official Washington State Ferries website or contact their customer service.
Washington State Ferries offer various discounts to help make ferry travel more affordable for different groups of passengers. These discounts can include reduced fares for senior citizens, disabled individuals, and active military personnel.
One of the most popular discount programs is the Multi-Ride Card, which allows frequent travelers to save money by purchasing multiple trips in advance. This card offers a significant discount compared to the regular fares and can be a great option for commuters or regular ferry users.
It’s worth mentioning that discounts may not be applicable during peak travel times or on certain routes. Therefore, it’s always recommended to check the Washington State Ferries website or contact their customer service for specific details on discounts and eligibility.
Buying Multiride Cards
Types of Cards
Washington State Ferries offers a variety of multiride cards to make your ferry travel more convenient and cost-effective. The most popular option is the Wave2Go card, which allows you to preload it with a certain number of rides.
There are different types of Wave2Go cards available, including adult, senior, disabled, and youth cards. Each card comes with its own discounted fare.
If you’re a frequent traveler, you might also consider the Monthly Pass, which allows unlimited travel for a calendar month. This is a great option if you commute daily or make frequent trips across the water.
Where to Buy
You can purchase multiride cards at various locations throughout Washington State. The easiest way to buy a card is online through the official Washington State Ferries website. Simply visit their website and follow the instructions to purchase your card.
You can also buy cards in person at ticket vending machines located at ferry terminals. Additionally, some retail locations, such as grocery stores and convenience stores, may also sell multiride cards.
It’s important to note that if you choose to purchase a card online, you will need to allow enough time for it to be mailed to you. Plan accordingly to ensure you have your card before your next ferry trip.
Using Your Card
Using your multiride card is easy. Simply tap or slide your card at the fare gate when boarding the ferry. The fare will be automatically deducted from your card’s balance. If you’re using a Wave2Go card, make sure to keep track of your remaining rides.
You can check your card balance online or at a ticket vending machine.
Remember to always have your card with you when traveling on Washington State Ferries. Not only will it save you time, but it also ensures you get the discounted fare associated with your card.
For more information about buying and using multiride cards, visit the official Washington State Ferries website.
Tips for Saving Money on Ferry Travel
Ride as a Passenger
One of the easiest ways to save money on ferry travel is by riding as a passenger. Instead of taking your car onto the ferry, consider leaving it behind and traveling as a foot passenger. Not only will this save you money on ferry fees, but it can also be a more relaxing and enjoyable experience.
You won’t have to worry about finding parking or dealing with traffic, and you can take in the scenic views from the passenger decks.
Travel at Off-Peak Times
If your schedule allows for flexibility, consider traveling at off-peak times to save money on ferry fees. During peak travel times, such as weekends and holidays, ferry fares are often higher. By choosing to travel during weekdays or less busy times, you can take advantage of lower fares.
Additionally, traveling during off-peak times can also mean less crowded ferries, making for a more comfortable journey.
Consider a Smaller Vehicle
When traveling with a vehicle, consider opting for a smaller one to save money on ferry fees. Washington State Ferries charges different rates based on the length and height of vehicles. By choosing a smaller car or truck, you can pay a lower fare.
Additionally, smaller vehicles are often more fuel-efficient, which can save you money on gas during your trip.
Look for Promotions and Deals
Keep an eye out for promotions and deals offered by Washington State Ferries. They often have special fares for certain routes or discounts for specific groups, such as seniors, students, or military personnel.
Checking their website regularly or subscribing to their newsletter can help you stay updated on any current promotions. Additionally, consider following their social media accounts for any exclusive deals or last-minute offers.
By following these money-saving tips, you can make your ferry travel more affordable and enjoyable. Remember to plan ahead, take advantage of off-peak times, and explore different options to find the best deals. Happy sailing!
With billions in annual ridership, Washington State Ferries offers an affordable way for locals and visitors alike to explore the scenic Puget Sound region. While fares vary by route and vehicle type, discounts are available to help keep costs down.
Planning your trip during off-peak times, traveling as a passenger when possible, and looking for promotional deals are some of the best ways to save on your next ferry ride.