Post by chokai on May 18, 2014 15:36:02 GMT -8
I do think it's foolish to send the Kitsap into the yard so soon after Tokitae joins, she should at least sit around a month or so in case something goes seriously sideways.... I also think it would make sense for Tokitae to spend her first few weeks or even months of her career on the Bremerton/Seattle run. She can up the capacity for the summer and she's much nearer the facilities as well as any backup boat. And both my uncle and I are confident after chatting today about Tokitae's arrival that there is no way they can reliably load 144 cars at Mukilteo and hold the schedule. However I know this won't happen as where she was to serve was specifically spelled out in the legislation authorizing her.
That said after the third 144 comes on line we'll have a net increase of about 60 car spaces in the system over before the steel fiasco. We'll also have 3 new boats that can readily serve on nearly every route in the system. That is not the same with the KDT's or the Evergreens as potential "backups". A new 80 to 100 car boat would only have marginally more utility throughout the system as a backup IMO. I know that ES did not keep up with traffic at Mukilteo/Clinton a few years ago.
But as much as I'd love to have a full backup boat frankly I'm not sure if it's truly worth keeping a boat around that might cost a million or more a year to maintain (Klahowya's annual dry docking alone was $700K). We certainly need boats to allow for regular maintainance but setting the system up so that there is always a boat on cold-standby at all times of the year as there was back in the day with the SE's, not so sure that's fiscally worthwhile given our budget reality today. Sure we can have a backup some of the time as schedules allow... But all of the time I just don't know...
On a micro level (i.e non many days breakdown) WSF has a 99%+ service level (99.5% on the JMII routes) which means that an average boat (say a Issaquah 130) would be down ~3.5 days in total per year. Overall we miss around 1,500 scheduled crossings a year. From years of watching service interruptions it seems that the vast majority are two or three crossings which wouldn't even allow a boat to get there often times. Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if less than 1/10th of those 1,500 would see the relief boat get there in time, putting the cost at well over $6,000 per crossing, not counting the crew and fuel. Where do you draw the line?
Of course there's isn't a good way to calculate "economic impact" over such a short term period, and WSF does not track/publish the amount of time the run is "underserved", they just count a boat as there is service. Could well be a rowboat.