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The nation’s largest ferry fleet adds its first Olympic Class vessel

(SEATTLE)– The Olympic class Tokitae officially joined the largest ferry fleet in the nation today.  The Tokitae will embark on its maiden public voyage on the Mukilteo/Clinton route this summer.

Once Washington State Ferries accepts the Tokitae from builder/contractor Vigor Industrial, crews will begin operational drills, including training and familiarization with the vessel.

Christened Tokitae (rhymes with ‘Polka-tay’), the new ferry’s name comes from a Coast Salish dialect meaning, “nice day, pretty colors.”  It is the first of three funded Olympic class vessels designed to replace the aging 1950s-era Evergreen State Class ferries.

“With three new 64-car ferries operating, and the first of three new 144-car ferries joining the fleet, the average age of our vessels will drop from 38 years to about 31,” said Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson.  “This new vessel brings us closer to increased service reliability, while meeting the needs of taxpayers and our customers.”

Along with added vehicle and passenger capacity, the $144 million Tokitae offers flexible seating configurations, improved heating and ventilation, and greater accessibility for passengers with disabilities.

The public is invited to take a tour of the vessel before it goes into service at a community celebration and open house Sunday, June 8, at the Clinton ferry terminal.

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