WA State Ferries are a lonely story right now

Blame it on our old friend the pandemic. Jerk.
Ferry boat off the coast of Mukilteo, WA.
Washington State ferry at sea just beyond the lighthouse at Mukilteo Photo credit by Gregr

10-million fewer people rode the ferry in the last year than in normal non-covid-y times. What does that mean?! According to WSDOT, that's almost half as much traffic - down 41%.

For the first time in its history, 2020 had more cars than people travel aboard a ferry boat. Pandemic walk-ons just weren't there.

The sailings between Mukilteo and Clinton carried the most customers and still dropped off by more than a quarter.

The route seeing the biggest dip: Seattle - Bremerton. Traffic between the two port cities fell off by more than 60%. People don't need to go downtown specifically for work so those trips are way down.

WSDOT broke down the different sailings:
Mukilteo/Clinton: Carried the most customers in the system for the first time despite a 26% drop in total riders. Remains busiest route for drivers, even with a 19% decrease in vehicles.
Edmonds/Kingston: Total riders fell 29% and vehicles declined 22%.
Seattle/Bainbridge Island: Total riders down 59% with the system’s largest year-to-year drop in walk-on passengers at 74%, vehicles decreased 36%.
Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth: Total riders fell 39%, vehicles declined 31%.
Anacortes/San Juan Islands: Total riders dipped 30%, vehicles down 21%.
Seattle/Bremerton: Largest year-to-year drop (excluding international service) with total riders down 64%, led by a decrease in walk-on passengers of 72%; vehicles fell a system high 50%.
Point Defiance/Tahlequah: Smallest year-to-year dip with total riders down 22% and vehicles dropping 15%.
Port Townsend/Coupeville: Total riders decreased 37%, vehicles fell 30%.
Anacortes/Friday Harbor/Sidney, British Columbia: Total riders and vehicles both declined 99% due to border restrictions.

I wonder how long it'll be before we get back to 2019 numbers again?