How will LIFAC respond to community requests to modify their ‘Lower Fares’ proposal?

Tomorrow night, at LIFAC’s December 2, 2014 LIFAC meeting (Fire Hall, 6:30-7:40 PM), you can learn how LIFAC will respond to islander requests to modify LIFAC’s October recommendation to lower some Lummi Island ferry fares (see October 7, 2014 draft handout on their county website; a newer revised version is here, on the PLIC website).

Basic facts.  In October, LIFAC members approved a recommendation to ask the County Council to consider lowering selected ferry fares.  This sounds like a very nice idea, as we all love the idea of paying less for something these days, especially ferry fares!

However, Continue reading

Ferry Emergency Twitter Notification from Public Works

NEW Tweets from @whatcomferry about Lummi Island ferry emergencies

Remember when the ferry suddenly went out during the day a few months ago, stranding people on both sides?  That emergency happened during the first week that Rob Ney, Public Work’s new ferry manager (among other duties). was on the job. He quickly learned how important it is to keep ferry users updated about emergencies.

Last Tuesday (November 4, 2014 LIFAC meeting), Rob told attendees that Public Works just opened a account using the name @whatcomferry. They plan to send out updates (tweets) when emergencies occur.  (see below for how to set up a free account so you will get those messages). Continue reading

Paper and Online Information about Lummi Island Ferry

Below are 10 resources with information about Whatcom County’s ferry to Lummi Island. They are listed roughly in order of creation. All but two of the online sites are fully public.  (Note:  links to most of the sites are always visible in the right upper sidebar of the Ferry Forum)  Continue reading

Moving toward Improved Lummi Island Ferry fares

Should a recent proposal by LIFAC to selectively reduce some ferry fares move forward as is, or not?  It’s great that LIFAC has started to tackle this issue, and we all sincerely applaud them for their efforts. The question now is,  “Is this particular proposal what we need, or does it need further review and modification?”

Surprisingly, 31 of the 33 islanders at the PLIC (Protect Lummi Island Community) public meeting (October 29, 2014) who stayed to hear all of the discussion voted NO to ‘just go for it’. Instead, the strong majority opted to ask LIFAC to hold off, review and modify details of the proposal before taking it to the County Council.

Based on that community input, the PLIC Board has submitted to LIFAC a letter reversing its original support of LIFAC’s proposal and requesting further consideration of issues raised by the community. They have posted that information on their website (, Facebook and NextDoor Lummi Island. Continue reading

2010 County Ordinance with $3 surcharge added to all fares

Hard to believe, but no post was ever written that linked to the 2010 County fare ordinance, which added a flat $3 charge to all fare categories.  Here’s a link to that ordinance. It’s located on the public, easily searched Ferry Documents Archive  as well as on the county’s website.

This post is is belated, but since fares are once again being discussed by LIFAC, PLIC and others, it seems a good idea to make it as easy as possible to find and read the official ordinance defining fares.

Two more recent changes to the basic fare ordinance (2013-043, which reduced children’s fares to zero and specified needs-based fares, and 2014-017 that started credit card use and charges) did not remove the surcharge.  All County ordinances and resolutions,by year and title, can be found here.

Meeting minutes of Long Range Planning Committee Posted

Minutes of LRPC September 16th 2014

Minutes (DRAFT) of LRPC held October 21st, 2014

All documents are subject to change and posted here for your convenience only.  Official copies can be found on LIFAC’s county website.

Letter to LIFAC Member Antholt From Marine Engineer/Architect

LIFAC member Chuck Antholt continues to help gather information about potential future options for a replacement ferry. Here is an email exchange he had recently with marine engineer L. Paul Zankich who wrote the most recent report on a survey of the Chief’s hull condition to Public Works. First shown is Chuck’s emailed questions, and Paul’s reply follows.

On 9/23/2014 10:05 AM, Chuck Antholt wrote:

Mr. Zankich.  I am a member of the County’s appointed Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Group.  I read the September 5 report you submitted on the Chief.

We are currently looking at replacing the Chief – someday.  But, that someday seems rather elastic.  Some think the chief should be taken out of service asap, others think that it is sensible to prudently maintain the Chief for a while, say 10 years.   Eventually, however, it will have to be replaced.  Continue reading


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