New Ferry Chief

Washington State Ferries has a new leader.  While battling its image of wasteful spending, and maintaining an aging fleet, Lynne Griffith is now in charge of the ferry system.

Griffith was previously the chief executive of Pierce Transit.  Her main goal is to put more resources in preventative maintenance to keep the older boats more reliable.  This past summer has been full of delays and boats needing to be docked for repairs. The ferry Tacoma is still getting repairs at Eagle Harbor after it lost power on a trip from Seattle to Bainbridge.  Investigators are still searching for a cause of the electrical problem and hope the vessel will be back in service early next year.  The Evergreen State ferry was put back in service to cover the downtime. 

The ferry fleet is getting new 144 car capacity boats.  The state has ordered and received some ships, but construction of the last ship is still uncertain. 

Earlier this summer, the Mukilteo ferry terminal secured federal grant money to help replace the 60 year old terminal.  Reports revealed that the current terminal is vulnerable to earthquakes and needs to be replaced for safety.  Officials expect construction to begin in the spring of next year, and the new terminal to open in 2019.