"Schedule, waiting period all that now slow Chinook"
June 11, 2008 · Updated 10:53 AM
"Ferry commuters may have to wait as long as 20 days for court processing before the Chinook foot ferry gets back up to speed on the Seattle-Bremerton route.The courts require an automatic, 20-day waiting period following a decision to allow for paperwork and any other action regarding the case, ferry spokeswoman Pat Patterson said. That's the big hang-up right now, she said.Ferry officials are examining whether the ferry system is even subject to the waiting period. If the waiting period does apply, ferry officials will try to get a waiver, Patterson said.In the meantime, schedules must be drafted and coordinated with Kitsap Transit to establish smooth-running commuter service. In addition, since foot ferry runs will be reduced from three boats to two, ferry officials will need to juggle crews around. Patterson said they'll re-bid the jobs in order to reduce the crews.Ferry officials have submitted three potential schedules to Kitsap Transit for review. Kitsap Transit will communicate its scheduling preference to the ferry service by today.Commuters might not have to change their routines all that much in comparison with the former Chinook schedule. They basically took the old schedule and kept it about the same, said Kitsap Transit spokesman Doug Johnson. It's nothing that requires major changes on our part.Once ferry service officials decide on a schedule, Kitsap Transit will brief drivers and post any scheduling changes for passengers. Once the ferry service makes its final decision, we can make our final decision, Johnson said.If the ferry service is required to wait out the 20-day period, and they are not granted a waiver, Johnson said Kitsap Transit will keep things as they are now.We'll wait until they get the go-ahead from the Supreme Court, before making any scheduling changes, he said.All the organization and coordination is expected to take about two weeks.We're moving ahead with plans (for) ... all of the other things that need to get done, Patterson said."