Bike Racks - Double Fare?
August 10, 2010 8:12 AM   Subscribe

Washington State Ferries. . .We are going to the San Juans and taking our bikes. Height rules indicate a 100% surcharge for over-height vehicles (which having our bikes upright will cause). Can we lay our bikes flat on the racks, once we get to the ferry line?

"Space on the ferry is limited. It is measured in terms of length, height and width of the load. Vehicles exceeding a "box" size of 7'6" high by 20 feet long by 8'6" wide will be subject to surcharges. RVs, bikes on top of the car, and long vehicles pulling trailers or boats are subject to these charges. "

It's been a few years since we have taken bikes along, and last time we did this, we were just able to keep our bikes upright on the racks. Now, it looks like we would need to pay double to do that. But if we just lay our bikes flat, bungee them down, then re-mount them once we get off the boat, that would work.

Does anyone have recent experience with this?
posted by Danf to Travel & Transportation around Medellin, Colombia (7 answers total)
It seems like that would make sense, but I have no experience with it. A backup plan might be to send one of the passengers as "walk-on" with the bicycles for a lower fare than the surcharge.
posted by aimedwander at 8:32 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Most times you should have plenty of time to stop, put the bikes flat, strap them down sorta, and drive slowly the last mile or so to the ferry. I can't think of a ferry I've been on where that wouldn't be possible. Either there's a long line when you'll have plenty of time, or there's no line and nothing stopping you from pulling over for a few minutes.
posted by The otter lady at 8:42 AM on August 10, 2010

I like aimedwander's backup idea. It says here that the bike surcharge is only $1 per bike.
posted by marsha56 at 8:50 AM on August 10, 2010

Yeah, I was going to suggest having everyone but the car driver take a bike on as a bike passenger.

But usually you spend some time in the parking lot ferry line, so you should have plenty of time to re-mount them and strap them down. Just get there early to make sure.

Which ferry route is it?
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:45 AM on August 10, 2010

Response by poster: Pt. Townsend - Keystone (we have reservations for that one) then Anacortes to Friday Harbor. Possibly a side trip to Shaw.

Since it is just the two of us, it seems like it is a wash, or nearly, to have one person ride the bike onto the boat.
posted by Danf at 11:52 AM on August 10, 2010

seems like you've answered your own question -- if the bikes are under the height limit, you should be fine, no? I guess the "bikes on top of the car are subject to these charges" line makes it ambiguous, but I'd think that only applies if the bikes are past the height limit.
(my Frequent Anacortes-Friday Harbor Ferry Riding Boyfriend [FAFFRB] says it "sounds fine" but hasn't done it)
posted by lilbizou at 4:38 PM on August 10, 2010

Response by poster: For archival purposes. . .the Pt Townsend - Keystone ferry does not have clearance issues in that it is all one deck, and very high. They did not make me take the bikes down for that one.

At Anacortes, I had to get out of line and do it in traffic. Almost missed the boat. Would recommend making sure you clear BEFORE entering the ferry area.
posted by Danf at 9:46 AM on September 8, 2010

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