Beginning of Chapter  <<  81.84.010 >>   81.84.020

Certificate of convenience and necessity requiredRecreation exemptionService initiationProgress reports.

(1) A commercial ferry may not 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 to a commercial ferry operator must be exercised by the operator in a manner consistent with the conditions established in the certificate and tariff filed under chapter 81.28 RCW. However, a certificate is not required for a vessel primarily engaged in transporting freight other than vehicles, whose gross earnings from the transportation of passengers or vehicles, or both, are not more than ten percent of the total gross annual earnings of such vessel.
(2) If the commission finds, after a hearing, that an existing or a proposed commercial ferry service does not serve an essential transportation purpose and is solely for recreation, the commission may, by order, exempt that service from the requirements of certification and regulation under this chapter. If the nonessential service is a proposed service not already provided by an existing certificate holder, the commission must also find, after notice to any existing certificate holder operating within the same territory and an opportunity to be heard, that the proposed service would not adversely affect the rates or services of any existing certificate holder.
(3) This section does not 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 the waters within this state, including rivers and lakes and Puget Sound, if the 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.
(4) 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. Except in the case of passenger-only ferry 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.
[ 2009 c 557 § 2; 2007 c 234 § 92. Prior: 2003 c 373 § 4; 2003 c 83 § 211; 1993 c 427 § 2; 1961 c 14 § 81.84.010; prior: 1950 ex.s. c 6 § 1, part; 1927 c 248 § 1, part; RRS § 10361-1, part.]


FindingsIntent2003 c 373: See note following RCW 47.64.090.
FindingsIntentCaptions, part headings not lawSeverabilityEffective date2003 c 83: See notes following RCW 36.57A.200.
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