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Lummi Island ferry rates about to change

The Whatcom Chief ferry prepares to offload vehicles from Lummi Island at Gooseberry Point on Sept. 18, 2014.
The Whatcom Chief ferry prepares to offload vehicles from Lummi Island at Gooseberry Point on Sept. 18, 2014. The Bellingham Herald

Proposed changes to the fares on the Lummi Island ferry would lower the cost for regular riders by discounting most multiride tickets. Most of the fares for trucks and trailers would increase.

The changes will get a public hearing before the Whatcom County Council on Tuesday, Aug. 4. The public hearing starts shortly after 7 p.m. at 311 Grand Ave., Bellingham.

County staff and the Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee reached agreement on the fare changes, which must go to a vote of the council. The changes would go into effect within 60 days of council approval.

Details of the changes are online at whatcomcounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/11766.

Fares are required to cover 55 percent of the ferry’s operating costs, after state grants and interest income are subtracted. The ferry budget was in the black in 2014, with revenues of $2.81 million and $2.45 million in expenses. Fares covered 67 percent of adjusted costs.

The Whatcom Chief took 177,000 passengers in 2014 between Lummi Island and Gooseberry Point on Lummi Peninsula.

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