April 15, 2021

Marie Duckworth

$1 Ferry Fare Surcharge Begins May 17

A $1 surcharge on most ferry trips on the Whatcom Chief will begin on Monday, May 17. Student, needs-based, and qualified senior/disabled fares are exempt.
All ferry punch cards purchased before May 17 will be honored at face value, Per Whatcom County Code section 10.34.020 M. Replacement of lost or damaged existing punch cards, after the program starts, will incur the surcharge.

Examples of how the surcharge will impact riders:

  • Passenger/pedestrian 1 round trip will increase from $7 to $8
  • Passenger/pedestrian 25 round trip multi-ride punch card will increase from $88 to $113. ($1 per trip increase.)

On March 23, the Whatcom County Council unanimously passed, with the support of the Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee, a $1 surcharge on most ferry trips. The money will go to a dedicated fund to help pay capital expenditures for a new ferry vessel and modifications to the ferry docks in order to accommodate the new vessel. A new vessel and dock upgrades are expected to cost around $35 million. Construction of the new ferry can’t start until the county has secured at least $32.9 million. No single source will cover the entire cost. The county is applying for state and federal funding to help make up the difference.

Visit the webpage of frequently asked questions about the new fare surcharge and the new ferry vessel that would replace the Whatcom Chief. More information is available on the new ferry vessel webpage.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
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