As those who live in Seattle know, getting into the city isn’t exactly easy; this first article of a four-part series hopes to make it a bit more tolerable, however. According to USA Today, the Emerald City has the 10th worst traffic in the entire nation. This leaves drivers stuck in gridlock for an average of 54.8 hours a year. It also leaves people swapping out their car rides for boat rides.
In fact, traffic is one of the reasons you may opt to commute by ferry instead of Ford Focus. But this isn’t for everyone. Rather, taking to the waterways involves both pros and cons.
But, first, the good news. Some of the pros of the ferry include:
It’s easy to see the schedule
The Washington Department of Transportation offers an app that allows you to view the ferry schedule from your mobile device. You can also see how many drive spots are left and where the boats are in real-time.
You can work from the waves
Commuting by ferry is like commuting by bus or train; it gives you free time to get things done. When you’re a passenger, you can send emails, compile reports, or write proposals; tasks you’d never do while driving. At least, hopefully.
The galley offers beer and wine
Of course, some people successfully leave work in the office. If you don’t want your boat time to be a bore, there’s always the option of kicking back with a cocktail and enjoying the views of the city skyline from the bay. The galley doesn’t limit itself to alcohol; you can also get food and other types of beverages (the obligatory Seattle coffee, for instance).
Commuters who walk on (or ride their bikes) find the ferry quite affordable. This is especially true if you buy a monthly pass. An Orca pass allows you to get through the terminal gates before they open, as well, saving you time and the opportunity to claim the prime spots.
You’ll meet new people
It’s easy to treat the ferry like a mini-social hour. It’s filled with the same people, day after day. People you can’t help but come to know and come to consider friends.
On the other hand, some of the reasons to avoid the ferry commute include:
You’re driving your car onto the boat
If you’re commuting by ferry and by car, the affordability of the ferry goes out the window. Not only is the actual ride more expensive, but you have to pay for parking once you reach the city. You must also be at the ferry early – sometimes as much as 45 minutes early – to make sure your car gets a spot.
The Wi-Fi isn’t ideal
As mentioned above, riding the ferry offers you a chance to get work done. However, if you’re relying heavily on Wi-Fi, you may come across some issues. In short, the connection is unreliable and slow. If you’re using your phone, it’ll work best at the top of the vessel.
You risk missing the boat…literally
Commuting by anything that runs on schedule requires you to be at a certain place, at a certain time. In other words, the ferry doesn’t offer a lot of flexibility – the boat won’t wait if you oversleep or if your three-year-old daughter decides to paint the cat blue. Be ready to go or it goes on without you.
Like anything else, there are pros and cons to commuting by ferry. Weighing each one helps you determine the best option. Or do a little bit of both – take the boat a few times a week, and drive the others.
If you’re relocating to the Seattle area, get in touch with us. We’ll help make the commute to your new house as care-free as possible.