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Legislators propose more ads on ferries

"OLYMPIA - Two Kitsap legislators recently proposed a transportation budget amendment that could expand advertising on Washington State Ferries (WSF).Reps. Phil Rockefeller, D-23rd District, and Beverly Woods, R-23rd District, introduced the proposal shortly before the end of the regular legislative session. They hope to win approval of the measure during the special session, which started Wednesday, April 28. This transportation budget amendment pushes Department of Transportation officials to explore all possible revenue sources for the ferry system, Rockefeller said.Woods is confident the amendment will be approved during the special session, since no lawmakers have registered resistance. We need to take a look at all the different ways to increase revenue sources while saving money, Woods said.She added that revenues raised from advertising could help keep fare hikes down.No current laws bar the Department of Transportation (DOT) from exploring further advertising possibilities, but legislators believe the amendment would establish the concept as a potential revenue source worth consideration by WSF and DOT officials.The passenger decks of WSF vessels already carry back-lit advertising kiosks. That's been standard procedure for 15 years, according to ferry officials. Last year such practices raised $151,000.Additional advertising could arrive in the form of logos throughout vessels, advertising panels in restrooms, or Internet kiosks. The amendment was inspired by suggestions from ferry tariff meetings conducted around Kitsap County earlier this spring. The amendment would direct DOT officials to investigate the matter. Staff members would talk with businesses interested in advertising on ferries and report back to the Legislature's transportation committees in January 2002. "

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