There’s good news for people living in Sidney. The Anacortes ferry could be coming back into service earlier than expected.
The international ferry, operated by Washington State Ferries, travels between Sidney and Anacortes, Wash.
The ferry first started running in 1922, but was halted in 2020 because of the pandemic.
In February, Washington State Ferries said it didn’t expect the international route to restart for at least a decade, until 2030 at the earliest.
It cited a shortage of qualified crew and several vessels being retired as main reasons for the restart delay.
However, in late September, Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith was part of a group that went to Washington state to advocate for the ferry to come back sooner.
He says Washington State Ferries is now considering leasing a new ferry to restore service before 2030.
A report from the state government about the feasibility of leasing a ferry is expected in December, according to McNeil-Smith.
“We were looking forward to celebrating the 100th year anniversary, but the pandemic arose – and we certainly look forward to the restoration,” he said Friday.
The mayor of Anacortes has also been pushing for the ferry to be reinstated as well, calling the 10-year shut down “unacceptable.”