Let me start by saying, that when we first considered moving our family to Bainbridge Island, “the commute” was one of our main concerns. It sounded amazing to take a ferry every day instead of white knuckling it in bumper to bumper, Seattle traffic. In the mornings, I could enjoy my coffee, read, put on my makeup, you name it. In the evenings, I would be able to wrap up my work, talk to friends and family, enjoy a glass of wine, and unwind before getting home. Sounds idyllic, right?!

Well, it is pretty great in comparison to what I did on a regular basis in Seattle. But, let me shed a little more light on the commute.

You will often hear that “Seattle is a 35 minute ferry ride from Bainbridge,” which is true, but that is dock to dock. In reality, door to door, at the very minimum it is about an hour. But, even if your total commute is over an hour, 35 minutes will be on the ferry, where you can do all of the relaxing things I mentioned above.

If you are able to walk across, you are in a way better position. Because you can count on making the ferry of your choice. When you need to drive across, you are often at the mercy of ferry lines, weekend tourist traffic, and unknowns that put more stress on the commute.

Is it do-able?  . . .  ABSOLUTELY! It just takes a little bit of time and planning to figure out when you need to leave, in order to “Make the boat.” All this being said, after the first few months, I figured it out and the commute is not a big deal. I rather enjoy it!

WSDOT Bainbridge Island Ferry information

Or download this super useful APP on your phone for real time ferry updates and schedules

Commute Considerations

Depending on where you live and if you can walk/bike across, or you have to drive across, your transportation combinations are:

  • Walk to Ferry – Walk on Ferry – Walk to work
  • Drive to Ferry – Park Car – Walk on Ferry
  • Bike to Ferry – Bike on Ferry – Bike on Other Side to Work
  • Bike to Ferry – Leave Bike – Walk on Ferry – Travel to Work
  • Bus to Ferry – Walk on Ferry – Travel to Work
  • Drive to Ferry – Drive onto Ferry – Drive to work


  • Cost to park at the ferry: 12 hours = $11, 24 hours = $15, evening = $7. Credit Cards now Accepted.


Walk-on Ferry Fares

Note: You only pay on the Seattle side (cars pay on both sides)

  • Monthly walk-on passes are $109.60
  • Daily passes are $8.50
  • 10 time walk-on passes are $68.50
  • Youth or Senior walk-on rates are $4.10 (6-18) *under six is free
  • Cyclists pay $1 surcharge from the Seattle to Bainbridge trip, or can buy a $20 pass for the year to avoid the surcharge


Driving on the Ferry

Note: You pay for a car on both sides

  • Car = $15.35
  • 20-ride Multi-Passes = $246.60, is good for 90 days, and can be shared
  • Motorcycle = $6.60 and you don’t have to wait in the car line