The Suquamish, is the fourth and last funded, Olympic Class ferry, however Washington State Ferries is developing a Long Range Plan to address future vessel needs. The plan will be delivered to the legislature in January.
Namely, the plan recommends building new vessels to replace the oldest ferries in the fleet. In addition, thirteen of the oldest ferries will be replaced by 2040, and WSF suggested building sixteen new vessels in total.
'Suquamish' will operate on the Mukilteo/Clinton route during the busy summer season and will also serve as a maintenance relief vessel filling in when other vessels are unavailable on other routes.
The ferry meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4 emission standards and has a capacity of 144 vehicle and 1,500 passengers.
In addition, earlier this year Washington Governor, Jay Inslee, signed the 2018 state transportation budget, which includes a US$600,000 research fund to Washington State Ferries, to explore conversion of three ferries in the state fleet from diesel to hybrid electric, up to 2019.
The proposed solution appears to be the installing of massive banks of batteries below deck on the three largest of WSF's 22 active vessels: the 'Tacoma', the 'Wenatchee' and the 'Puyallup', which serve the Seattle-Bainbridge and Edmonds-Kingston routes, with a combined capacity of thousands of passengers.