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Seattle-Kingston passenger ferry company gives up service certificate

Aqua Express operated passenger-only ferry service from January to October in 2005.  - File Photo
Aqua Express operated passenger-only ferry service from January to October in 2005.
— image credit: File Photo

SEATTLE —? Aqua Express’ passenger-only ferry service might be giving up the ghost for good. The company decided to relinquish its Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission passenger-only ferry service certificate, according to a press release from the Seattle-based company.

The certificate was originally granted in July 2004. The ill-fated passenger-only ferry service between Kingston and Seattle began in January 2005 and lasted 10 months.

“Aqua discontinued service Oct. 1, 2005, after incurring significant losses due to less than anticipated ridership and rapidly escalating fuel costs,” according to the prepared statement.

Aqua Express is a partnership between Argosy Cruises, Clipper Navigation, Four Seasons Marine and Nichols Brothers Boat Builders.

The “significant investment” to begin the service included buying a ferry and designing, permitting and construction moorage in Kingston, the release states.

For a passenger-only ferry service to be successful, it would need a government partner and long-term, sustainable funding. “We don’t see this happening in the foreseeable future,” John Blackman, managing member of Aqua Express, said in the prepared release.

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