New 2-boat schedule negatively
By Cassie Gasser, Reporter
Recently the ferries have switched from a three-boat schedule to a two-boat schedule, a change that has caused problems for some student commuters. VHS has 137 daily commuters, 27.4 percent of the school’s population. Vashon boats from the north end, which are Seattle and Southworth bound, and the south end, which goes to Tacoma, were greatly impacted. On Aug. 9, 2021, Jay Inslee issued a vaccine-mask mandate which required all state workers to be vaccinated which went into effect on Oct. 15, 2021. This is just one reason that led to the staffing shortages that Washington state ferries are facing now.
With fewer employees, there are fewer boats going back and forth between almost every destination around the state. For example, three boat routes were downsized to two boats, and two boat routes to one Fewer boats can mean earlier sailings for commuters and less sleep.
“It sucks. I am very tired in school and [the new Fauntleroy two boat schedule] has impacted my learning environment,” VHS senior Maxwell Barnecut said.
Barnecut isn’t the only one who dislikes the new schedule. Senior Bellamy Cox also shared these negative feelings towards the current commuting experience.
“[Commuting is] okay, but I’d lean towards not liking it. I don’t get much sleep while taking advanced classes. [I get] probably only about five to six hours [of sleep on] average per night. [The pros are] that the education is better than schools on the mainland,” VHS senior Bellamy Cox said.
In contrast to the struggle with the current two-boat schedule, some commuters think that commuting was sustainable under a normal three-boat schedule.
“I have commuted since sixth grade and being a commuter is great. I would recommend being a commuter when there are 3 boats,” VHS junior Ben Godwin, said.
While some students feel commuting to school seems like a very difficult way to start the day, others have found some good aspects to getting up early in the morning.
“The ferry ride is neat and it gives [us] built-in social time. [I also really like] the sun rises. Although it can be a lot of work and is not as easy as just driving to school, it is fun and worth it,” VHS freshman Jane Howsman said.
The majority of the commuters can agree the worst parts about commuting are waking up early and how unreliable the ferry system is, but students varied in opinion about the vaccine mask mandate that went into effect.
“It depends on what it is. If you’re talking about the current mandate, then I am against it because in the end it just causes more trouble for everybody, such as the messed up ferry schedules.” Howsman said.
Godwin held a different opinion on how the mandates have affected the staffing.
“If someone wants to get the vaccine, they should get it, and if they don’t want the vaccine and they are OK losing their jobs over the fact [that] they don’t want the vaccine, it’s on them for not getting it.” Godwin said.