SEATTLE — King County Metro is doubling service on their water taxi route between West Seattle and Downtown during the viaduct closure.
They’ve leased another boat, which can hold 240 people. Metro will have two boats running during rush hour, allowing departures every 20 minutes.
“Ridership will spike,” King County Metro Marine Division Director Paul Brodeur said. “People need to be aware. They need to arrive early and be prepared to wait.”
The City of Seattle also leased a parking lot in West Seattle with more than 250 spaces to help commuters find a spot near the dock in the morning. The lot is about 0.7 miles south of Seacrest Ferry Dock, and will be open from 5:45 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. starting Monday.
They’ve also added shuttles around West Seattle to help commuters get to the dock without driving.
King County Metro has already seen a 25 percent spike in ridership on the West Seattle route this week.
Allen Austin, a West Seattle resident, rode the water taxi Downtown Thursday to test the trip ahead of the shutdown.
“I know that traffic is going to be a nightmare here for who knows how long,” Austin said. “I want to be ready.”
During previous viaduct closures, some boats filled up, forcing West Seattle commuters to wait for the next one. Metro hopes a second vessel helps with that.
Service won’t run later. The last water taxi leaves Downtown at 6:45 p.m. After that, commuters can take a bus. For now, King County Metro plans to stick by their schedule, but will adjust if need be.
To find out more about water taxi service during the closure, click this link.