Therefore, the study includes the collection of data and development of impact predictive tools that can be applied prior to implementing potential operations, in order to identify the POFF operations which will have the least impact on Rich Passage shorelines. A new high speed vessel that is optimized for wake and total resistance has been designed and built as part of the study and will conduct field tests during the summer of 2012.  These tests will provide service between Bremerton and Seattle twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon.  Initial wake trials in 2011 indicate the vessel will meet developed wake criterion during an earlier phase of the study.

Not only is the study of relevance to potential POFF operations in Rich Passage, but the results and methodologies developed will have application in any context where efficient and environmentally acceptable high speed passenger ferry or commercial scale vessel operation is an objective.  It is believed that an efficient waterborne transit system can bring many benefits to the region including decreased congestion of roadways and economic stability for local businesses.

Rich Passage Study Area

For many years, the City of Bremerton, Kitsap Transit, and the State of Washington have worked on initiatives to provide passenger only fast ferry (POFF) service between Seattle and Bremerton.  A high speed waterborne commuter link between Bremerton and Seattle is viewed as an essential cornerstone of the economic development of the region.  A limiting factor in the development of this link in the past has been the potential of wake-induced erosion on the shoreline in environmentally sensitive Rich Passage, just east of Bremerton.

The Seattle-Bremerton Passenger Only Fast Ferry Study is designed to investigate the feasibility of adding passenger only fast ferry service between Seattle and Bremerton.

The study was initiated in June 2004 and is funded under a federal grant program administered by the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA), which is designed to support research and investigations of emerging transportation systems.  Initially the project was led by Pacific International Engineering, which was sold to Golder Associates Inc. in December 2009.

The primary objective of the study is to develop the scientific basis to identify and minimize the potential impacts of candidate POFF vessels on the shorelines along the ferry route. 

The results of the study will be available to any individuals and organizations with an interest in fast ferry service between Seattle and Bremerton and to other organizations in the State and Country interested in providing environmentally benign fast ferry service.

A fundamental difference between this project and previous attempts to introduce passenger only fast ferry service through Rich Passage is that the vessel selection process will directly and primarily depend on satisfying shoreline impact and mitigation criteria as well as more conventional vessel design criteria.

Website Last Updated April 20, 2016 - Golder Associates Inc.


Project Description