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Mosquito Fleet trial run nets 133 people

"POULSBO - After making it's departure from the Port of Poulsbo promptly at noon Tuesday, the water bus St. Nicholas did something that surprised even the veteran passengers of the Washington State Ferry system - it stopped, turned around and picked up three women who were running a tad late. The added passengers, Karla Boughton, Linda Mueller and Lynda Loveday, brought the total number of passengers on the Mosquito Fleet vessel to 133 an auspicious start for an idea whose time may have come, again. It was very successful, said city councilman Jim Henry, who has been a proponent of re-instituting the passenger ferry system from Poulsbo to Seattle since he took office last year. It went very well and I think the reaction from the riders was positive. The low-wake catamaran made the trip from Little Norway to the Emerald City in less than an hour and, according to Henry, it was smooth sailing all the way. With a proposed round-trip fare of just $10 in the wake of increasing WSF charges, passengers had another reason to smile. But after meeting with the downtown businesses, councilwoman Connie Lord expressed concerns that the proposed run might add cars to an already congested parking situation. We're going to have to shuttle people in, she said, stating the viewpoint of many Front Street business owners. But a shuttle service may already be a go as Kitsap Transit, which is also backing the Mosquito Fleet concept, has stated its interest in providing such services to and from Poulsbo. It's great because we can bring people in, they can shop in Poulsbo for the day or spend the night, and then we can send them out, Henry remarked. The Mosquito Fleet proposal is scheduled to be presented to city council during its June 27 meeting. "

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