58th Legislature
2003 Regular Session

Passed by the House March 31, 2003
  Yeas 94   Nays 2

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Passed by the Senate April 14, 2003
  Yeas 46   Nays 2

President of the Senate

I, Cynthia Zehnder, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is ENGROSSED HOUSE BILL 1388 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.

Chief Clerk

Governor of the State of Washington

Secretary of State
State of Washington



Passed Legislature - 2003 Regular Session
State of Washington58th Legislature2003 Regular Session

By Representatives Woods, Ericksen, Ahern, Schindler, Jarrett, Bush, Shabro, Anderson, Bailey, Talcott, Clements, Chandler, Mielke, Boldt, Newhouse, Schoesler, Nixon, Pearson, Pflug and McMahan

Read first time 01/24/2003.   Referred to Committee on Transportation.

     AN ACT Relating to incentives to increase transportation revenues by reforming laws limiting the provision of passenger-only ferry service; amending RCW 47.60.120, 47.64.090, 81.84.010, 81.84.020, and 81.84.060; and creating a new section.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   The legislature finds that the Washington state department of transportation should focus on its core ferry mission of moving automobiles on Washington state's marine highways. The legislature finds that current statutes impose barriers to entities other than the state operating passenger-only ferries. The legislature intends to lift those barriers to allow entities other than the state to provide passenger-only ferry service. The legislature finds that the provision of this service and the improvement in the mobility of the citizens of Washington state is legally adequate consideration for the use of state facilities in conjunction with the provision of the service, and the legislature finds that allowing the operators of passenger-only ferries to use state facilities on the basis of legally adequate consideration does not evince donative intent on the part of the legislature.

Sec. 2   RCW 47.60.120 and 1993 c 427 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) If the department acquires or constructs, maintains, and operates any ferry crossings upon or toll bridges over Puget Sound or any of its tributary or connecting waters, there shall not be constructed, operated, or maintained any other ferry crossing upon or bridge over any such waters within ten miles of any such crossing or bridge operated or maintained by the department excepting such bridges or ferry crossings in existence, and being operated and maintained under a lawfully issued franchise at the time of the location of the ferry crossing or construction of the toll bridge by the department.
     (2) The ten-mile distance in subsection (1) of this section means ten statute miles measured by airline distance. The ten-mile restriction shall be applied by comparing the two end points (termini) of a state ferry crossing to those of a private ferry crossing.
     (3) The Washington utilities and transportation commission may, upon written petition of a commercial ferry operator certificated or applying for certification under chapter 81.84 RCW, and upon notice and hearing, grant a waiver from the ten-mile restriction. The waiver must not be detrimental to the public interest. In making a decision to waive the ten-mile restriction, the commission shall consider, but is not limited to, the impact of the waiver on transportation congestion mitigation, air quality improvement, and the overall impact on the Washington state ferry system. The commission shall act upon a request for a waiver within ninety days after the conclusion of the hearing. A waiver is effective for a period of five years from the date of issuance. At the end of five years the waiver becomes permanent unless appealed within thirty days by the commission on its own motion, the department, or an interested party.
     (4) The department shall not maintain and operate any ferry crossing or toll bridge over Puget Sound or any of its tributary or connecting waters that would infringe upon any franchise lawfully issued by the state and in existence and being exercised at the time of the location of the ferry crossing or toll bridge by the department, without first acquiring the rights granted to such franchise holder under the franchise.
     (5) This section does not apply to operators of passenger-only ferry service.

Sec. 3   RCW 47.64.090 and 1983 c 15 s 27 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, if any party assumes the operation and maintenance of any ferry or ferry system by rent, lease, or charter from the department of transportation, such party shall assume and be bound by all the provisions herein and any agreement or contract for such operation of any ferry or ferry system entered into by the department shall provide that the wages to be paid, hours of employment, working conditions and seniority rights of employees will be established by the marine employees' commission in accordance with the terms and provisions of this chapter and it shall further provide that all labor disputes shall be adjudicated in accordance with chapter 47.64 RCW.
     (2) The department of transportation shall make its terminal, dock, and pier space available to private operators of passenger-only ferries if the space can be made available without limiting the operation of car ferries operated by the department. These private operators are not bound by the provisions of subsection (1) of this section. Charges for the equipment and space must be fair market value taking into account the public benefit derived from the passenger-only ferry service.

Sec. 4   RCW 81.84.010 and 1993 c 427 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) No commercial ferry may hereafter operate any vessel or ferry for the public use for hire between fixed termini or over a regular route upon the waters within this state, including the rivers and lakes and Puget Sound, without first applying for and obtaining from the commission a certificate declaring that public convenience and necessity require such operation. Service authorized by certificates issued before or after July 25, 1993, to a commercial ferry operator shall be exercised by the operator in a manner consistent with the conditions established in the certificate or tariffs: PROVIDED, That no certificate shall be required for a vessel primarily engaged in transporting freight other than vehicles, whose gross earnings from the transportation of passengers and/or vehicles, are not more than ten percent of the total gross annual earnings of such vessel: PROVIDED, That nothing herein shall be construed to affect the right of any county public transportation benefit area or other public agency within this state to construct, condemn, purchase, operate, or maintain, itself or by contract, agreement, or lease, with any person, firm, or corporation, ferries or boats across or wharfs at or upon the waters within this state, including rivers and lakes and Puget Sound, provided such operation is not over the same route or between the same districts, being served by a certificate holder without first acquiring the rights granted to the certificate holder under the certificate, nor shall this chapter be construed to affect, amend, or invalidate any contract entered into prior to January 15, 1927, for the operation of ferries or boats upon the waters within this state, which was entered into in good faith by any county with any person, firm, or corporation, except that in case of the operation or maintenance by any county, city, town, port district, or other political subdivision by contract, agreement, or lease with any person, firm, or corporation, of ferries or boats across or wharfs at or upon the waters within this state, including rivers and lakes and Puget Sound, the commission shall have power and authority to regulate rates and services of such operation or maintenance of ferries, boats, or wharfs, to make, fix, alter, or amend said rates, and to regulate service and safety of operations thereof, in the manner and to the same extent as it is empowered to regulate a commercial ferry, notwithstanding the provisions of any act or parts of acts inconsistent herewith.
     (2) The holder of a certificate of public convenience and necessity granted under this chapter must initiate service within five years of obtaining the certificate, except that the holder of a certificate of public convenience and necessity for passenger-only ferry service in Puget Sound must initiate service within twenty months of obtaining the certificate. The certificate holder shall report to the commission every six months after the certificate is granted on the progress of the certificated route. The reports shall include, but not be limited to, the progress of environmental impact, parking, local government land use, docking, and financing considerations. ((However)) Except in the case of passenger-only service in Puget Sound, if service has not been initiated within five years of obtaining the certificate, the commission may extend the certificate on a twelve-month basis for up to three years if the six-month progress reports indicate there is significant advancement toward initiating service.
     (3) The commission shall review certificates in existence as of July 25, 1993, where service is not being provided on all or any portion of the route or routes certificated. Based on progress reports required under subsection (2) of this section, the commission may grant an extension beyond that provided in subsection (2) of this section. Such additional extension may not exceed a total of two years.

Sec. 5   RCW 81.84.020 and 1993 c 427 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) Upon the filing of an application the commission shall give reasonable notice to the department, affected cities ((and)), counties, and public transportation benefit areas and any common carrier which might be adversely affected, of the time and place for hearing on such application. The commission shall have power after hearing, to issue the certificate as prayed for, or to refuse to issue it, or to issue it for the partial exercise only of the privilege sought, and may attach to the exercise of the rights granted by said certificate such terms and conditions as in its judgment the public convenience and necessity may require; but the commission shall not have power to grant a certificate to operate between districts and/or into any territory prohibited by RCW 47.60.120 or already served by an existing certificate holder, unless such existing certificate holder has failed or refused to furnish reasonable and adequate service or has failed to provide the service described in its certificate or tariffs after the time period allowed to initiate service has elapsed: PROVIDED, A certificate shall be granted when it shall appear to the satisfaction of the commission that the commercial ferry was actually operating in good faith over the route for which such certificate shall be sought, on January 15, 1927: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That in case two or more commercial ferries shall upon said date have been operating vessels upon the same route, or between the same districts the commission shall determine after public hearing whether one or more certificates shall issue, and in determining to whom a certificate or certificates shall be issued, the commission shall consider all material facts and circumstances including the prior operation, schedules, and services rendered by either of the ferries, and in case more than one certificate shall issue, the commission shall fix and determine the schedules and services of the ferries to which the certificates are issued to the end that duplication of service be eliminated and public convenience be furthered.
     (2) Before issuing a certificate, the commission shall determine that the applicant has the financial resources to operate the proposed service for at least twelve months, based upon the submission by the applicant of a pro forma financial statement of operations. Issuance of a certificate shall be determined upon, but not limited to, the following factors: Ridership and revenue forecasts; the cost of service for the proposed operation; an estimate of the cost of the assets to be used in providing the service; a statement of the total assets on hand of the applicant that will be expended on the proposed operation; and a statement of prior experience, if any, in such field by the applicant. The documentation required of the applicant under this section shall comply with the provisions of RCW 9A.72.085.
     (3) Subsection (2) of this section does not apply to an application for a certificate that is pending as of July 25, 1993.
     (4) In granting a certificate for passenger-only ferries and determining what conditions to place on the certificate, the commission shall consider and give substantial weight to the effect of its decisions on public agencies operating, or eligible to operate, passenger-only ferry service.
     (5) Until March 1, 2005, the commission shall not consider an application for passenger-only ferry service serving any county in Puget Sound, unless the public transportation benefit area authority or ferry district serving that county, by resolution, agrees to the application.

Sec. 6   RCW 81.84.060 and 1993 c 427 s 7 are each amended to read as follows:
     The commission, upon complaint by an interested party, or upon its own motion after notice and opportunity for hearing, may cancel, revoke, suspend, alter, or amend a certificate issued under this chapter on any of the following grounds:
     (1) Failure of the certificate holder to initiate service by the conclusion of the fifth year after the certificate has been granted or by the conclusion of an extension granted under RCW 81.84.010 (2) or (3), if the commission has considered the progress report information required under RCW 81.84.010 (2) or (3);
     (2) Failure of a certificate holder for passenger-only ferry service in Puget Sound to initiate service by the conclusion of the twentieth month after the certificate has been granted;
Failure of the certificate holder to file an annual report;
     (((3))) (4) The filing by a certificate holder of an annual report that shows no revenue in the previous twelve-month period after service has been initiated;
     (((4))) (5) The violation of any provision of this chapter;
     (((5))) (6) The violation of or failure to observe the provisions or conditions of the certificate or tariffs;
     (((6))) (7) The violation of an order, decision, rule, regulation, or requirement established by the commission under this chapter;
     (((7))) (8) Failure of a certificate holder to maintain the required insurance coverage in full force and effect; or
     (((8))) (9) Failure or refusal to furnish reasonable and adequate service after initiating service.
     The commission shall take appropriate action within thirty days upon a complaint by an interested party or of its own finding that a provision of this section has been violated.

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