Set on Seattle Part III: Insider Tips from Ferry Commuters That Will Save You Time and Money

Posted on: June 15, 2017

According to Space Needle News, the Washington State Ferry system was created back in 1951 as a way to keep up with the increase in demand; this article, the third in the series, focuses on the tips of locals who’ve discovered the secrets to easy commuting.

In the over seventy years since these boats first hit Seattle’s waters, ferries have become synonymous with the city, representative of everything from the daily rat race to tourism. In fact, each year, per the Washington Department of Transportation, around 24,000,000 riders step on board.

While the ferry is a convenience, particularly if you’re able to take it without your car, it’s not entirely without its hassles. This is where insider information comes in: knowing the tricks helps make for smooth sailing.

Some of these include:

Arrive early

If you’re boarding a ferry by foot (or with a bike), it’s recommended that you arrive at least twenty minutes before departure. If you’re bring your car, double this time. Arriving early helps you get a seat in the event the ferry fills up quickly. It also helps you get a seat you want – somewhere near the window if you enjoy sightseeing or somewhere upstairs if you want to get work done. The upstairs area is unofficially known as the “library.”

Be prepared to hustle

The ferry system is built on boats sticking to a strict schedule. In order to do this, the ferries can’t linger at a dock or wait for stragglers. Most boats leave quickly, so be prepared for that. You may be expected to hustle on and hustle off, even if running isn’t really your thing.

Change it up

The Northwest is a majestic part of the country and the ferry showcases this beauty. But, if you want to fully drink it in, sit in different spots at different times of the day. In the morning, sit in a seat that’s south facing. In the evening, sit in a seat that’s north facing. You’ll see the sunrise or the sunset if you pick your seat accordingly.

Don’t expect to send an important email

Many people use the ferry commute as an opportunity to get things done. But if you have an urgent email to send off, don’t put all your eggs in the boat’s basket. The internet is notoriously slow and unreliable, leaving passengers without service on occasion. Of course, some people don’t have any Wi-Fi issues, but the second you have to send something important, they’ll appear…naturally.

Buy your coffee wisely

Coffee is a staple of the a.m. – it’s the reason many of us get out of bed in the first place! And, often, we don’t mind paying a premium price for premium beans. However, if you’re using the ferry regularly, expensive coffee adds up quickly. Save yourself a few bucks by buying at Commuter Comforts – it sells cheaper cups of joe than you’ll find in the boat’s galley.

When it comes to Seattle, ferries are here to stay. Whether you love them, hate them, or tolerate them, knowing the ins and outs of the system helps you navigate the waters. Take the above into consideration, then sit back and enjoy the ride.

If you’re relocating to the Seattle area, get in touch with us. We’ll offer more inside tips about ferries and the city itself…tips that will make the home buying experience as frustration-free as possible.

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