Ridership on Washington ferries plummeted in 2020

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Ridership on vessels in the Washington State Ferries fleet plummeted in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But officials are looking ahead to more sailings and riders in 2021, including those between Anacortes and the San Juan Islands. State Department of Transportation spokesperson Ian Sterling said officials were surprised at how popular those routes were last summer. Annual State Ferries ridership dropped from about 24 million to 14 million last year. That’s a drop of 41 percent and the lowest yearly ridership since 1975. The ferry system attributed the drop to more people constrained by stay-at-home orders, more employees working remotely and fewer tourists.