Photo courtesy WSDOT.

Transportation Commission wants your help naming next ferry

  • Staff report
  • Thursday, July 22, 2021 10:34am
  • Northwest

Construction of a new, hybrid electric Olympic Class ferry is expected to start in 2022.

Of course, the new, 144-car vessel will need a name, and the Washington State Transportation Commission has initiated its process to do so by seeking naming proposals from the public.

But it takes a little more work than just suggesting a name.

Sponsors of naming proposals will need to keep in mind the following: names should carry statewide or regional significance and represent our state’s image and culture; names should represent such things as state-adopted symbols, tribal names, names of bodies of water, geographic locations, cities, counties, relate to nautical heritage, etc.; names will be given consideration for consistency with existing WSF fleet names.

Names should likewise have broad familiarity, be non-offensive, and meet ethical standards. Names with commercial overtones or names honoring or commemorating individuals should generally be avoided, but will be considered upon very careful review. In such cases, the following guidelines will apply:

•Individuals must be deceased for at least 20 years

•They must have enduring distinction and have played a significant historical role in the region and/or state

•Naming proposals submitted to the commission must identify how they conform to the above guidelines; provide background on the proposed name, making a case for the proposal; and provide evidence of public support for the name

Naming proposals must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, in both hard copy and electronic form. Hard copies are to be mailed to: Washington State Transportation Commission

PO Box 47308, Olympia, Wash., 98504-7308 Electronic copies are to be emailed to: transc@wstc.wa.gov, indicating “Ferry Naming Proposal” in the subject line.

Washington State Ferries has 21 vessels in its fleet. Many have names reflecting the state’s tribal heritage. The current Olympic Class vessels are named Chimacum, Samish, Suquamish, and Tokitae, keeping with that tradition.

Additional information on ferry naming can be found on the commission’s website at:

https://wstc.wa.gov/programs/ferry-highway-naming


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