More Washington State Ferries runs halted amid crew shortage

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington State Ferries warned travelers Friday that seven of its 10 routes were operating with fewer boats as chronic crew shortages suddenly worsened and left the transportation system in disarray. The Seattle Times reports the cutbacks are unprecedented in the nation’s largest ferry system. Approximately 140 sailings were canceled Friday, and several were late, in what the agency called “a rough service day due to lack of crew.” Ferry officials say severe staff shortages come amid the ongoing pandemic and measures such as quarantining, as well as an aging and retiring workforce. They say it’s difficult to recruit people to work in the maritime industry, but they have stepped up those efforts.