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frmrCapCadet
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Washington State Ferry System

Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:02 pm

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-ne ... ape-again/

It is a very large system, under a lot of stress. The article accurately discusses the current state of operations. Several things need to be done to get it working. We are short about 5 boats for reliable operations, wages are not keeping up with the rest of the job market, and policies for new hires are terrible. While the Seattle Metropolitan area is not directly affected, all of those very high value residents living in the Islands and Kitsap Peninsula, and along the Straits of Juan de Fuca are key elements in making Washington State a powerful economy.

I have followed the news and public hearings of the ferry system for years, and did not see any faults in this excellent background story.
 
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seb146
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:17 pm

Crew needs to be certified by the Coast Guard. I see no problem with that.

They have needed new vessels for years. I sailed on the Issaquah many times and wondered how many more times can they keep patching it. Also, when one vessel goes down, the entire system is screwed. They have to reposition and that can take hours. But WSDOT has many other projects that must be funded. The bypass freeway in Spokane and road and traffic improvements across Tri-Cities and I-90 always needs paving and working out replacement of the Interstate Bridge between Portland and Vancouver...

I wonder if BC Ferries or Golden Gate Transit can be a template?
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:39 pm

Ferries generally have a 50 year lifespan, with annual out of commission for a few weeks maintenance, but a 25 year "D" major check and update (aviation term LOL). BC is somewhat beset by some of the same problems. Highways, bridges, ferries are all expensive infrastructure - they need money. The Hyak was retired because of expensive maintenance, and I asked the DOT official if that would not create major problems being down at least 3 boats.I suspect he or she was told not to sound alarming about it, but the nice thing about these public presentations is that they generally have to answer questions. So this was predicted about 3 years ago. New crew members work as on call temps for the first few years. While salaries are not that bad, benefits are good, but working as a temp is a big problem.
 
johns624
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:15 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
New crew members work as on call temps for the first few years. While salaries are not that bad, benefits are good, but working as a temp is a big problem.
It all depends if the end result is worth it. I believe UPS starts all their employees off as on-call temps and it seems to work for them.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:33 am

Back in my shipping company days, a permanent job with WSF was very desirable. Sailing wages and home every night was pretty unique in the business. But old boats are like old airliners. They break down a lot.

Pretty much all US Flagged commercial vessels must go on dry dock every 5 years. Similar to a "D" Check. Not cheap. It's a harsh environment - stuff wears out fast and steel repairs are extremely expensive due to the staging required and finding welders who can work complex shapes.

The USCG also has strict drug/alcohol testing policies which include zero tolerance for hard drugs, marijuana and alcohol. My friends back in Personnel tell me that young people today want no part of marijuana testing.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Tue Nov 23, 2021 3:01 am

MohawkWeekend wrote:
Back in my shipping company days, a permanent job with WSF was very desirable. Sailing wages and home every night was pretty unique in the business. But old boats are like old airliners. They break down a lot.

Pretty much all US Flagged commercial vessels must go on dry dock every 5 years. Similar to a "D" Check. Not cheap. It's a harsh environment - stuff wears out fast and steel repairs are extremely expensive due to the staging required and finding welders who can work complex shapes.

The USCG also has strict drug/alcohol testing policies which include zero tolerance for hard drugs, marijuana and alcohol. My friends back in Personnel tell me that young people today want no part of marijuana testing.


Hah, not only young. My parents both clear $100K despite no college degrees but wouldn't submit to marijuana testing either!
 
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c933103
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Tue Nov 23, 2021 3:37 am

Hong Kong have quite a lot of excess ferry after they built the bridge to Macau but not sure whether they meet modern environmental requirement of Western countries
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Tue Nov 23, 2021 1:47 pm

By US law, the ferries have to be built in the USA. And crewed by US citizens or green card holders.
 
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ER757
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:37 pm

Dealing with the ferries is the #1 reason I didn't move to Vashon Island when I retired. I really like the lad back vibe out there (had relatives that lived there for many years before re-locating). But you are a slave to the boats as there's no other way on or off unless you have a pilot's license and an airplane - and I am not sure if Wax Orchards airfield is still there it's been so long since I've spent a lot of time on the island. It's been clear for years that the situation wasn't improving and the article linked by the OP points that out.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:05 pm

For some reason, the Federal Government doesn't subsidize local ferry services as much as they do light rail, subway and bus transit systems.
Seems they'd rather dig a tunnel for a couple of billion vs far less $ for construction subsidies for a boat.
 
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seb146
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:44 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
For some reason, the Federal Government doesn't subsidize local ferry services as much as they do light rail, subway and bus transit systems.
Seems they'd rather dig a tunnel for a couple of billion vs far less $ for construction subsidies for a boat.


I wonder if that has to do with long term cost? In Washington state's case, it is much more cost effective to have ferries. There is no way billions of dollars and years of set backs could ever replace the ease and convenience of the ferry system. Especially for those in the San Juan Islands.

Besides, many ferries do not cross state lines. Why would the feds get involved in state business? I think the Alaska Marine Highway is the only one on the West Coast that crosses state lines. There is the one ferry per day to Sidney, BC. But that was pre-covid.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Sat Nov 27, 2021 7:25 pm

I don't believe the feds have subsidized SeaStreak which runs between NJ and Wall Street. I could be wrong though.
 
ACDC8
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:32 pm

I was always under the impression that WSF was a very good system, at least compared to BC Ferries.

seb146 wrote:
There is the one ferry per day to Sidney, BC. But that was pre-covid.

At least the Coho from Port Angeles to Victoria is back in operation. First sailing was the day the US reopened the border. Not sure about the Sidney to San Juan sailing though.
 
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seb146
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Sun Nov 28, 2021 4:09 pm

ACDC8 wrote:
I was always under the impression that WSF was a very good system, at least compared to BC Ferries.

seb146 wrote:
There is the one ferry per day to Sidney, BC. But that was pre-covid.

At least the Coho from Port Angeles to Victoria is back in operation. First sailing was the day the US reopened the border. Not sure about the Sidney to San Juan sailing though.


I have not been on BC Ferries in a very long time. I would love to sail on the Coastal and Spirit ships.

According to the WSDOT site, sailings to Sidney will resume in 2022. They are usually suspended for winter, anyway.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Sun Nov 28, 2021 5:10 pm

From the article :

$4.9 billion over 16 years to replace 10 aging vessels


Surely there is a typo somewhere ? A company I'm familiar with, Brittany Ferries, is buying 200m long, sea going, hybrid battery electric + LNG ferries, with cabins, restaurants, etc., we're talking 40 000 GT ships, for 200 million euros each.

ER757 wrote:
Dealing with the ferries is the #1 reason I didn't move to Vashon Island when I retired. I really like the lad back vibe out there (had relatives that lived there for many years before re-locating). But you are a slave to the boats as there's no other way on or off unless you have a pilot's license and an airplane - and I am not sure if Wax Orchards airfield is still there it's been so long since I've spent a lot of time on the island. It's been clear for years that the situation wasn't improving and the article linked by the OP points that out.


What about owning a fast boat ?
 
luckyone
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Sun Nov 28, 2021 5:54 pm

Aesma wrote:
What about owning a fast boat ?

1. Where are you going to dock it off island?
2. How are you going to get around off island?
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Sun Nov 28, 2021 6:46 pm

Maybe Bill Gates's fast boat. January in a small boat on Puget Sound is not a very appealing thought. If the wind kick up, all bets would be off.

All joking aside, some of the WSF are about the size of the cross Channel Ferries in England.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:15 pm

Aesma wrote:
From the article :

$4.9 billion over 16 years to replace 10 aging vessels


Surely there is a typo somewhere ? A company I'm familiar with, Brittany Ferries, is buying 200m long, sea going, hybrid battery electric + LNG ferries, with cabins, restaurants, etc., we're talking 40 000 GT ships, for 200 million euros each.

ER757 wrote:
Dealing with the ferries is the #1 reason I didn't move to Vashon Island when I retired. I really like the lad back vibe out there (had relatives that lived there for many years before re-locating). But you are a slave to the boats as there's no other way on or off unless you have a pilot's license and an airplane - and I am not sure if Wax Orchards airfield is still there it's been so long since I've spent a lot of time on the island. It's been clear for years that the situation wasn't improving and the article linked by the OP points that out.


What about owning a fast boat ?


Our mafia is stronger and we are more corrupt. US government - perhaps you have heard of it. Corruption is legal here. It’s called “negotiating” and “advocating.” Which are euphemisms.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:47 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
Maybe Bill Gates's fast boat. January in a small boat on Puget Sound is not a very appealing thought. If the wind kick up, all bets would be off.

All joking aside, some of the WSF are about the size of the cross Channel Ferries in England.


The biggest ones vs the smallest ones, maybe.

But I'm not saying you need such ships, just that much smaller, simpler ships should be much cheaper.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Sun Nov 28, 2021 9:28 pm

While hull speed is an outmoded term, it still somewhat applies. Low horsepower will take you about 1.4 times the square root of length in feet at the water line, in knots. Hence small boats are slow unless they ride up on plane, at which point they need a lot of horsepower and energy. We have a couple transit ferries which only have routes a couple miles long. Hull speed works great for that.
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Mon Nov 29, 2021 5:56 am

MohawkWeekend wrote:
For some reason, the Federal Government doesn't subsidize local ferry services as much as they do light rail, subway and bus transit systems.
Seems they'd rather dig a tunnel for a couple of billion vs far less $ for construction subsidies for a boat.


This is what is happening to ferry routes all over Norway, ferries are being replaced with tunnels and bridges. There used to be over 400 ferry routes in Norway, now there are about 120 left.
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Mon Nov 29, 2021 6:06 am

MohawkWeekend wrote:
All joking aside, some of the WSF are about the size of the cross Channel Ferries in England.


The largest ferries WSF operate are the Jumbo Mk II class vessels, 140m long and 4900 tons, car ferries that size haven't been operated cross channel for many decades.

P&O have two new double ended ferries on order, they will be 230m long and over 50,000 tones.
 
USAirKid
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Mon Nov 29, 2021 10:56 am

Aesma wrote:
From the article :

$4.9 billion over 16 years to replace 10 aging vessels


Surely there is a typo somewhere ? A company I'm familiar with, Brittany Ferries, is buying 200m long, sea going, hybrid battery electric + LNG ferries, with cabins, restaurants, etc., we're talking 40 000 GT ships, for 200 million euros each.


I'm not sure if there is a typo, but the Jones Act does drive up prices for domestic ships. (Any ship that goes between two US ports has to be built in the US of a certain percentage of US sourced materials and crewed by a majority US Citizen/National crew.)
 
ACDC8
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Mon Nov 29, 2021 12:09 pm

seb146 wrote:
I have not been on BC Ferries in a very long time. I would love to sail on the Coastal and Spirit ships.

According to the WSDOT site, sailings to Sidney will resume in 2022. They are usually suspended for winter, anyway.

The Coastal and Spirit Classes are nice, personally, I'm a big fan of the Spirit Class. Being nostalgic, I prefer the old C and Burnaby Classes - during the summer, I'll usually take a run out to Swartz Bay from Tsawwassen on the Queen of New Westminster and return on a Spirit Class, just to unwind and enjoy the cruise or take the Queen of Surrey from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale. Always wanted to take a trip on the Queen of the North ever since I was a kid - never did get the chance.
 
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seb146
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Mon Nov 29, 2021 7:24 pm

ACDC8 wrote:
seb146 wrote:
I have not been on BC Ferries in a very long time. I would love to sail on the Coastal and Spirit ships.

According to the WSDOT site, sailings to Sidney will resume in 2022. They are usually suspended for winter, anyway.

The Coastal and Spirit Classes are nice, personally, I'm a big fan of the Spirit Class. Being nostalgic, I prefer the old C and Burnaby Classes - during the summer, I'll usually take a run out to Swartz Bay from Tsawwassen on the Queen of New Westminster and return on a Spirit Class, just to unwind and enjoy the cruise or take the Queen of Surrey from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale. Always wanted to take a trip on the Queen of the North ever since I was a kid - never did get the chance.


When I was in high school many, many, many years ago, we went to a band competition in Abbotsford and got to sail from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay on Queen Of Saanich. We spent the day in Victoria. It was a good size, from what I remember. Very nice crossing. I don't remember what the return vessel was. One of the Queens.
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Tue Nov 30, 2021 6:34 am

USAirKid wrote:
Aesma wrote:
From the article :

$4.9 billion over 16 years to replace 10 aging vessels


Surely there is a typo somewhere ? A company I'm familiar with, Brittany Ferries, is buying 200m long, sea going, hybrid battery electric + LNG ferries, with cabins, restaurants, etc., we're talking 40 000 GT ships, for 200 million euros each.


I'm not sure if there is a typo, but the Jones Act does drive up prices for domestic ships. (Any ship that goes between two US ports has to be built in the US of a certain percentage of US sourced materials and crewed by a majority US Citizen/National crew.)


Which is why the US shipbuilding industry is so competitive, the Jones Act should be dumped, all it does is inflate prices and leads to an old fleet of clapped out vessels like you see today.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Tue Nov 30, 2021 2:13 pm

The following is from memory. The Olympic class ferries, about 1500 passenger and 144 vehicles are the favored size. They can fill in about anywhere. The first one cost about $150 million several years ago, and now are about $120m. I am not quite sure what that $4 billon plus figure represents, and will try to figure it out. Here is a good entry link to the ferry system. If you are interested it is fun to play around with all of it. My favorite were the Kaleetan/Hyak. Galleys were in the upper passenger deck, with good views to the port and starboard sides. Wife and I would always have coffee in the morning and a glass of wine later in the day. It must have been one of the best experiences for a short cruise in the world. Current galleys are hidden midships and have no views. Bummer.

https://wsdot.com/ferries/vesselwatch/Vessels.aspx
 
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seb146
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Tue Nov 30, 2021 7:26 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
The following is from memory. The Olympic class ferries, about 1500 passenger and 144 vehicles are the favored size. They can fill in about anywhere. The first one cost about $150 million several years ago, and now are about $120m. I am not quite sure what that $4 billon plus figure represents, and will try to figure it out. Here is a good entry link to the ferry system. If you are interested it is fun to play around with all of it. My favorite were the Kaleetan/Hyak. Galleys were in the upper passenger deck, with good views to the port and starboard sides. Wife and I would always have coffee in the morning and a glass of wine later in the day. It must have been one of the best experiences for a short cruise in the world. Current galleys are hidden midships and have no views. Bummer.

https://wsdot.com/ferries/vesselwatch/Vessels.aspx


The actual food service areas have no views but there are many, many tables with views all around. When we sail out of Coleman Dock, we usually stop at Ivar's first, carry that on, and watch the Sound go by.
 
N626AA
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Tue Nov 30, 2021 7:44 pm

Has anyone ridden the Seattle - Bremerton ferry recently? Fond memories of those ship trips with my grandparents as a kid. I'd like to make it back up to SEA some time next year and get them to make a trip with me over there again while they still can.
 
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ER757
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Tue Nov 30, 2021 9:05 pm

N626AA wrote:
Has anyone ridden the Seattle - Bremerton ferry recently? Fond memories of those ship trips with my grandparents as a kid. I'd like to make it back up to SEA some time next year and get them to make a trip with me over there again while they still can.

Haven't done it recently but it's one of my favorite WSF routes. The portion through Rich Passage is especially nice.
 
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seb146
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Wed Dec 01, 2021 3:01 pm

N626AA wrote:
Has anyone ridden the Seattle - Bremerton ferry recently? Fond memories of those ship trips with my grandparents as a kid. I'd like to make it back up to SEA some time next year and get them to make a trip with me over there again while they still can.


We sailed that route before covid. The new terminal at Bremerton is nice.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Wed Dec 01, 2021 7:57 pm

Which is why the US shipbuilding industry is so competitive, the Jones Act should be dumped, all it does is inflate prices and leads to an old fleet of clapped out vessels like you see today.[/quote]


The US government used to subsidize the cost of building in a US yard. It was called a CDS - Construction Differential Subsidy. The logic was the US needs shipyards in times of war so they (US government) would make up the difference in cost. Actually pretty cheap insurance.

The Jones Act also requires US citizens or people with the legal authority to work in the US. So unless we eliminate that requirement for every job in this country, that part of the law is a non-starter
 
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seb146
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Thu Dec 02, 2021 1:19 am

Kiwirob wrote:
USAirKid wrote:
Aesma wrote:
From the article :



Surely there is a typo somewhere ? A company I'm familiar with, Brittany Ferries, is buying 200m long, sea going, hybrid battery electric + LNG ferries, with cabins, restaurants, etc., we're talking 40 000 GT ships, for 200 million euros each.


I'm not sure if there is a typo, but the Jones Act does drive up prices for domestic ships. (Any ship that goes between two US ports has to be built in the US of a certain percentage of US sourced materials and crewed by a majority US Citizen/National crew.)


Which is why the US shipbuilding industry is so competitive, the Jones Act should be dumped, all it does is inflate prices and leads to an old fleet of clapped out vessels like you see today.


So you don't want American built and you want to put Americans out of work? Maybe if we made trade schools affordable, like welders and electricians and plumbers, we could have nice things. Like beautiful and modern ferries.
 
johns624
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Thu Dec 02, 2021 1:34 am

seb146 wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
USAirKid wrote:

I'm not sure if there is a typo, but the Jones Act does drive up prices for domestic ships. (Any ship that goes between two US ports has to be built in the US of a certain percentage of US sourced materials and crewed by a majority US Citizen/National crew.)


Which is why the US shipbuilding industry is so competitive, the Jones Act should be dumped, all it does is inflate prices and leads to an old fleet of clapped out vessels like you see today.


So you don't want American built and you want to put Americans out of work? Maybe if we made trade schools affordable, like welders and electricians and plumbers, we could have nice things. Like beautiful and modern ferries.
Union apprenticeships allow you to get paid while learning your trade.
 
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seb146
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Re: Washington State Ferry System

Thu Dec 02, 2021 2:26 am

johns624 wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:

Which is why the US shipbuilding industry is so competitive, the Jones Act should be dumped, all it does is inflate prices and leads to an old fleet of clapped out vessels like you see today.


So you don't want American built and you want to put Americans out of work? Maybe if we made trade schools affordable, like welders and electricians and plumbers, we could have nice things. Like beautiful and modern ferries.
Union apprenticeships allow you to get paid while learning your trade.


If only we had unions. We do, in precious few places. And they require minimum standards. Like education that many "patriot" states will not fund.

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