May 8, 2008
Link to original broadcast story
6 p.m. anchor: "Local leaders are brainstorming about the ferry of the future. They're also talking about you paying higher car tabs to buy new (passenger-only) ferries and clean up Puget Sound. KOMO 4's Bryan Johnson joins us from the waterfront to explain."
Bryan Johnson: "The boat behind me is actually heading for the tourist trade on the Tennessee River. But some locals are calling it the ferry boat of the future. Why talk about this? (Footage of huge, lumbering car ferries on Elliott Bay). Say 'ferry' and this is what we think of. (State of Washington) car ferries, moving into or out of Colman Dock. But leaders of the passenger ferry movement have this warning."
Cary Bozeman, Mayor of Bremerton: "If the ferry system was a private company, it would be close to bankrupt. We've got ships that have been running for 80 years....Everybody thought the ferry system was going to be here forever. Well, it might NOT be here forever."
Bryan Johnson (speaking over helicopter footage of the high speed, low-wake River Gorge Explorer zipping toward Seattle on May 8, 2008): "Bozeman says this ferry is the future. It raced from Kingston to Seattle in 23 minutes, travelling 50 miles per hour, impressing all those aboard."
Passenger: "Oh I love the boat. I think this is the future technology for Puget Sound transportation."
Bryan Johnson: "A 149-passenger version of this boat (being built for Kitsap Transit) will cost about $3.5 million. Another $1.5 million a year will go for (operations and) maintenance. There's no way fares will pay for (all) that.
Tim Caldwell, Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce: "All transportation systems in this state are subsidized, from cabs to airplanes, so that's just part of the price of doing business."
Bryan Johnson: The Cascadia (Center) invited local leaders, labor leaders, and chambers to a meeting here in Seattle. (Footage of the River Gorge Explorer's low wake impact, at stern, as it travels on Puget Sound). Everybody loves the ferry. Cascadia also proposed a way to pay: a $50 additional charge on car license tabs.
Bruce Agnew, Director, Cascadia Center: "We're a think tank. We're not elected officials. We're just promoting the idea and seeing how people react to it."
Cary Bozeman: "And there's no free deal here. I mean, we are going to have to figure it out, and we are all going to have to pay for it one way or another."
Bryan Johnson (talking over close-up of a car's license tab): "Now if a $50 a car charge on your license plate tab sounds absolutely dreadful to you, the elected leaders say well, they'll have public hearings, and you'll get to vote. Oh, there is one more thing. If that car tab tax raises a lot of money in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties, well, the rest of it will go to help clean up Puget Sound. On the Seattle waterfront, Bryan Johnson, KOMO 4 News."