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West Seattle Herald
Seattle , Washington
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November 5, 1997     West Seattle Herald
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November 5, 1997
 

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4 Wednesday, November 5, 1997 West Seattle Herald/White Center News By Aki Yanagisawa HERALD-NEWS The Elliott Bay Water Taxi obtained mostly positive comments from the West Seattle residents and area riders but not everyone thought the gervice was excellent, said Cheryl Cronander, of the Depart- ment of Nefghborhoods, who served as pr~ject manager. More than 40 participants met last Wednesday evening at the Alki Community Center with Cronandcr and other city officials to discuss the service that carried 33,000 pas- sengers between Seacrest Boat House, Pier 55 and Pier 66 in July and August. Most want the service to continue. "I truly enjoyed taking the ride," said one commuter. "I work in downtown now and it would be nice to include it in transit subsi- dies." According to passenger-survey results from the summer demonstra- tion period, about one-third of the passengers rode the water taxi to work and more than half of the pas- sengers rode it for recreational, shopping or sight-seeing purposes. Some of the commuters who attended the meeting said they sub- stituted the water taxi for cars to avoid rush-hour traffic in mornings and late afternoons. Others said they rode it to avoid the stress of searching for parking spaces down- town, or to simply enjoy the conve- nience of not having to drive, due to the free shuttle van service that picked them up from their neigh- borhood and dropped them off at Scacrest Park. "I don't want to start up a car in the morning when I can get on a boat a block down," commented another West Seattlc commuter. An average of 59.5 percent of the passengers during the two-month period answered that they would use the water taxi occasionally or regularly if it became a permanent service. One of the objectives of the water-taxi service was to get people out of their cars and use other trans- portation devices to commute, Cro- nander said. The water taxi definitely got some people out of their cars. According to the survey, nearly 40 percent of the 33,000 passengers said they usually drive alone. Near- ly 14 percent of the riders normally would carpool downtown. The water taxi not only provided commuters with a convenient trans- portation alternative, but it also allowed an opportunity to do things they would not have done other- wise. "I love shopping at Pike Place Market, but I usually wouldn't go because going there with my car is just too complicated," said another resident. "The water taxi makes it all simple." However, even this convenient service, combined with a free shut- Ile van and parking adjacent to Seacrest Park, can afford some improvement if it was to continue serving the Seattlc communities. It can become more punctual, said many of the attendees at the meeting. "The boat schedules aren't reli- able enough. It's a nice, comfort- able way to get around, but I can't afford to be late to my work," said one commuter. "It's very discon- certing when we're trying to make appointments." The commentators informed Cro- nander that the water taxi arrived more punctually on weekdays than it did on weekends. Other suggestions included later service on weekend evenings and additional runs on days of events like Mariners games and fairs. Cronander said that the commit- tee will make a final decision on continuing the project upon the result of another demonstration planned for the next summer. Guadalupe students Our Lady of Guadalupe students Muertos" last Monday. During the students learned of the Mexican festival dead relatives through building altars, other celebrations. Monica Sprague (left to ty and John The" Felis write the names on small note cards. 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