A Word A Week: Transport


It’s hard to pay a visit to the Puget Sound area and not see at least one green and white Washington State Ferry cruise by carrying commuters, tourists and travelers across the water.  These large vessels serve the areas surrounding Puget Sound as well as provide vital and reliable transportation to the San Juan Islands and Canada.  I’ve always loved riding the boats and have hundreds of Ferry photos in my archives  but it wasn’t until I spent a few minutes researching the fleet for this post that I discovered  it is the largest passenger and car system in the United States and its 22 active ferries mean it is the third largest in the world by fleet size.  If you count by vehicles carried the WSF system jumps to #1 in the world with an annual 11 million cars driving aboard.

The ferry system has its origins in the “Mosquito Fleet“, a collection of small steamer lines serving the Puget Sound area during the later part of the nineteenth century and early part of the 20th century. By the beginning of the 1930s, two lines remained: the Puget Sound Navigation Company (known as the Black Ball Line) and the Kitsap County Transportation Company. A strike in 1935 forced the KCTC to close, leaving only the Black Ball Line.[3]

Toward the end of the 1940s the Black Ball Line wanted to increase its fares, to compensate for increased wage demands from the ferry workers’ unions, but the state refused to allow this, and so the Black Ball Line shut down. In 1951, the state bought nearly all of Black Ball’s ferry assets for $5 million (Black Ball retained five vessels of its fleet).[4] The state intended to run ferry service only until cross-sound bridges could be built, but these were never approved, and the Washington State Department of Transportation runs the system to this day.

Source – Wikipedia Washington State Ferries

Posted as part of Sue’s A Word A Week Photograph Challenge:  Transport.


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34 thoughts on “A Word A Week: Transport

  1. I always loved taking the ferry to Bainbridge Island when I’m in that neck of the woods.! So beautiful plus I would stop and get wine at the Bainbridge Winery 🙂


  2. I love ferry trips, too. My dog and I took many when I was dating my husband, who used to live on Whidbey. His grandfather used to operate one of the Kitsap Mosquito Fleet steamers–the Monte Cristo.


  3. Love my bike rides that include ferry routes! We cyclist get on first and off first, plus on many routes, we only pay for one way and coming back is free!!

    good timing for this since one broke yesterday!


    1. Yes the cyclists definitely have it made when traveling by ferry here in Wa, Tony. A beautiful trip and no waiting in line. 🙂 I’m hoping the second boat is back in place on the Edmonds-Kingston run before next week… we’re going over to the Peninsula and I don’t want to drive around!


  4. I’ve never taken a ferry, Lisa. Believe that? It’s true. I would think it would be fun! I like what you did with your image in framing it. Great job! Love, Amy


    1. Thanks so much, Amy I’m glad you like it! If you get the chance to ride a ferry I know you’ll have a great time. 🙂 They are big enough to be very stable on the water but still offer the experience of a nice boat ride.


      1. There are no ferries around where I live. We have bridges, lots of bridges. Yet there may come a day I will experinece a ferry. You never know. 🙂


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