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King County welcomes new addition to its water taxi family

Summary

More than 100 years have passed since steam-powered ferries shuttled passengers between West Seattle and the downtown waterfront – and 17 years since the service was brought back to life by King County. Today King County Executive Dow Constantine and a host of other dignitaries and West Seattleites had reason to celebrate again as they dedicated the M/V Doc Maynard.

Story

More than 100 years have passed since steam-powered ferries shuttled passengers between West Seattle and the downtown waterfront – and 17 years since the service was brought back to life by King County.

Today King County Executive Dow Constantine and a host of other dignitaries and West Seattleites had reason to celebrate again as they dedicated the M/V Doc Maynard.

“This new boat – the first all-new water taxi from West Seattle to downtown in generations – will improve what is already a fast, reliable link for thousands of commuters,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Like its twin, the Sally Fox, the M/V Doc Maynard has highly efficient engines, uses cleaner-burning biodiesel, and can carry more passengers than the boat it is replacing.”

“David Swinson Maynard, known as ‘Doc’ to all, lived at times in both downtown Seattle and West Seattle - so it’s fitting that the new King County Water Taxi is named the "M/V Doc Maynard," said King County Councilmember Joe McDermott.  “His contemporary, Henry Yesler, would have appreciated the fact that the majority of funding for this boat came not from the locals, but rather from the federal government!”

The Doc Maynard has all the amenities of its sister, the Sally Fox – and then some. Both vessels are supporting King County’s climate change goals by using a 10 percent blend of homegrown biodiesel - so they are among the cleanest-burning engines available. They not only conserve energy, they’re also doing their part to reduce harmful emissions. By using biodiesel, each boat is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 140 metric tons per year– that’s the equivalent of powering 20 homes for a year.

The M/V Doc Maynard is larger than the catamaran it’s replacing. The vessel, built by All American Marine in Bellingham, carries 278 passengers, 131 more than the Spirit of Kingston. The added capacity will offer more room during the busiest weekday commutes and other peak travel periods.

Like the Sally Fox that operates the Vashon run, the Doc Maynard has indoor and outdoor seating, ADA accessible bathrooms and wheelchair tie-downs, space for 26 bicycles and video screens that will display safety, schedule and trip information. But because the new vessel will be spending most of its time in the calmer waters of Elliott Bay, passengers will have access to an outdoor forward bow that will offer a better view of the sights.

The Doc Maynard, which was delivered on budget and more than a month ahead of schedule, will initially go into service on the Vashon route while the Sally Fox undergoes warranty work. Modifications to Seacrest Dock are also being planned to accommodate the larger vessel. When that work is complete, likely by year’s end, the Doc Maynard will be assigned to the West Seattle run on a regular basis.

And West Seattle residents will have another opportunity to get a close-up look at the new vessel during a separate community celebration held at a later date.

King County’s West Seattle service is expected to serve an estimated 300,000 passengers this year. Ridership for both the West Seattle and Vashon service is expected to top 500,000 boardings by the end of 2015.

For more information, visit the King County Water Taxi website.