Riding a Washington State ferry with a motorcycle

August 25, 2012/Jonathan Rundle/6 Comments

Riding a motorcycle onto the ferry means first-on and first-off privileges. I waited to go on last so I could snap some photos with the sunset. So what do you need to know about riding the ferry as a motorcyclist? Read on!

My favorite place to ride is on the Olympic Peninsula. The best way to get there and back is by using our lovely ferry system. After a (presumably long) day of blasting around the peninsula, the 30 or 40 minute pause that the ferry provides is a great way to discuss the ride with your crew or to just take a break alone without having to worry about traffic or the radius of the next turn.

Take these moments to think about the ride or just watch the scenery. If it’s summer, it’s usually spectacular.

Washington State Ferry Seattle

What you need to know:

  • Motorcycles get first-on, first-off privileges. You will need to be on time, though. If you arrive when vehicle loading has begun, you’ll be loaded last.
  • Motorcycle fare is much cheaper than other vehicles.
  • You won’t need to pre-pay or reserve a spot. There’s plenty of room for us. The only possible exception is the Anacortes ferry, which may limit the number of motorcycles to 30.
  • Typically, you should bypass the long ferry line and bypass the fare collection window. With some exceptions, you proceed to the loading area without paying, then park your bike in the designated loading area, and then buy your ticket from the walk-up kiosk, like a foot passenger would. There are lots of exceptions – review loading procedures by terminal here.
  • No need to tie down like some ferries – the waters of the Puget Sound are calm and your bike won’t fall off it’s side stand.
  • Sit back and enjoy the ride!

Washington State Ferry Deck

Comments (6)

  • Michael . June 10, 2023 . Reply

    Can you get off your bike while the ferry is in motion?

    • (Author) Jonathan Rundle . July 13, 2023 . Reply

      Yes you can! You can go up to one of the decks for a drink or snack or hang out on the edge of the parking deck. Whatever you want to do and long as you don’t cross any barriers. I’ve even pushed my bike around to get better photos on a mostly empty ferry. 🙂

  • Lee Kendall . September 14, 2022 . Reply

    Heading to Port Townsend today. Will let you know how the Coupeville ferry ride was.

    • (Author) Jonathan Rundle . September 15, 2022 . Reply

      Have a good time!

  • Gary G. . July 30, 2022 . Reply

    Thanks for the heads up, I ride alone most times (sad) and was never really sure. Ferries are great though. BTW kidding on the sad, I love it.

    • (Author) Jonathan Rundle . July 31, 2022 . Reply

      Hah! I feel you. Riding alone means no one else to please and there’s so much value in that and getting out with your own thoughts and peace and quiet.

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