Ferry Committee 2023 Fare Proposal Community Message

We as the Guemes Island Ferry Committee are here to help provide information, answer questions, support those who want to engage in the public process, and represent Guemes Islanders to the County. Unfortunately, with the compressed timeline that Skagit County has put forth, we will only have limited opportunities to provide help throughout the process so we will be doing this via email distribution this week to help people provide public comment. Moving forward as we get past the Work Session, we will send out updates as we get them and will try to answer questions that people have.

Provide Public Input!
The public input process for this project is our opportunity to tell Public Works and the Commissioners that this proposal is unacceptable. This is our opportunity to tell them how this affects our lives, our businesses, our budgets, and our ability to continue to be part of this community. Every comment letter they receive gets put into the public record as part of this decision making process, and Skagit County will hopefully review them and act on your feedback.  


  • If you are able to, please send your comments in by Friday Mar 10th so they are received before the Work Session on Tuesday March 14th. Skagit County Communications has told the GIFC that during the Work Session, they will be reviewing several versions of the KPFF proposal and weighing those options, as well as reviewing public comments, so getting them in before then will have a greater effect.Send comments to: ferrycomments@co.skagit.wa.us

  • Attend the Work Session in person if possible: Commissioners Work Session: Tuesday, March 14th, 2023 at 2:30 p.m. | Commissioners' Hearing Room, 1800 Continental Pl, Mount Vernon, WA

Attend in-person or via Zoom using the following link: https://bit.ly/SkagitBoCCMtg

  • This Work Session is NOT a public comment period. Public input is NOT taken at this meeting. If you choose to show up, please go to listen, and to watch, and to hold your county officials accountable. You will be there to observe the conversation they have, but that is all. Please be respectful and professional!

  • The final day for Public Comment is March 31st, so if you need more time, you can still get them in until then.

Here is what to expect next from the GIFC:
We intend to aid in the Public Comment Process and keep people informed.

These links include:

  • For folks that would like help getting started, a “blank template” to begin your letter.

  • For folks that would like talking points, a list of issues that are relevant to all, but could be more relevant to some than others.

We are working on putting together people’s letters with others for inspiration. If you have already sent in comments, please email your letter to guemesferry@gmail.com. If you are planning on sending your letter into the county, copy the above email address as well, and we will work to collect those letters here.

Guemes Ferry Fare Comments Folder

Ferry Fare Talking Points

Public Comment Template

All Ferry Fares Comment Listing

March 5th Public Meeting Recording (4 minutes in)

Guemes Island Ferry Committee Annual Meeting

The GIFC Annual Meeting was held Saturday, February 18, 2pm, at the Community Hall. 

Topics discussed were: New Ferry Project, New Fare Proposal, Ferry Haul Out, Emergency Services: with Chief Cole, Ferry Committee Nominations (2 open positions).


  • Thanks to Chief Cole for a great presentation about Emergency Response on Guemes Island during normal times, and during the haul out!
  • The community in attendence requested that the GIFC host a follow up meeting on Sunday March 5th, after the February 28th Ferry Fare Proposal meeting to help the community better understand the information provided by Skagit County Public Works.
  • The terms of two board members, Sandy McKean and Allen Bush, expired at the Annual Meeting. Allen and Sandy were both nonminated, but Sandy decided he would not run. Becca Fong was also nominated and her candidate statement was read by Gabe Murphy in her absence. The committee solicited other nominations, but none were made by the community in attendence.
  • According the the GIFC Charter, Allen and Becca will begin three year terms effective immediately.

Guemes Island Ferry Committee Home Page

The Guemes Island Ferry Committee is a group of Guemes Islanders, elected by Guemes Islanders, to represent the interests of the community by coordinating ferry related issues among the ferry users, Skagit County Public Works, and the Skagit County Board of Commissioners.

Current GIFC Members:

John Hopkins

Allen Bush

Andy Leech

Becca Fong

Gabe Murphy

If you have questions or concerns regarding the Guemes Ferry, please send us an email at guemesferry@gmail.com and we will do our best to answer your question or will help to point you in the right direction.

Click here to view the GIFC Charter

Guemes Island Ferry Email Updates

With the winter season upon us, ferry service variability can be common.

The GIFC highly recommends signing up for Email Alerts from Skagit County Public Works. Find the link below and sign up.

Guemes Island Ferry Email Updates

Monthly Ferry Committee Meetings

The Guemes Island Ferry Committee meets every second Thursday of the month, currently at the Guemes Island Library. Unless otherwise rescheduled, these meetings start at 7:00pm and are all open to the public. 

If you would like to join GIFC meetings via Zoom, please contact Allen Bush at bushman@mail.com. Send your full name and the email address to be used.

Recent Meeting Notes

GIFC 4/26/2022 Election Results

Voting for the two open seats on the Guemes Island Ferry Committee was completed and the ballots counted Tuesday, April 26. 720 ballots were sent out. 330 were cast.
Andy Leech 204
Gabe Murphy 186
Forrest Nelson 177
Martin Taylor 17 (write in)
Per the Committee Charter Andy and Gabe took office immediately. The Committee expresses its sincere thanks to the five ballot counters.

Guemes Ferry Operations and Service Analysis Update

Skagit County is working with BERK Consulting and KPFF Consulting Engineers to study possible ferry system improvements that address issues identified by the ferry community in two previous online surveys. Once they understand what you are most interested in, they will look at the operational and cost implications of the preferred options.

BERK and KPFF’s work will result in two packages of system improvement options (both prioritizing two round-trips per hour).

Package 1: Service improvements that can be attained with minimal investment

Package 2: Additional service improvements that come at a higher cost

Public Input Opportunities:

- Guemes Ferry Operations and Service Analysis Study website https://publicinput.com/guemesferry

- Email comments open now: ferrycomments@co.skagit.wa.us

All Comments will close December 5, 2019 for final report production.

-Final report will include compiled comments and responses.

- Online surveys https://publicinput.com/guemesferry

Draft Packages and Service Objectives survey open: November 7 – December 5.

Recent Correspondence

November 10, 2022 Ron Wesen, Peter Browning, Lisa Janicki Skagit County Commissioners commissioners@co.skagit.wa.us Grace Kane P.E. Public Works...
Public Works crews will replace the wooden fence along north end of the Guemes ferry parking lot starting Thursday, April 11. Crews and equipment will...
  To Guemes Islanders: In July, 2018, Skagit County Public Works submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)...