- Associated Press - Friday, April 10, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - Washington State Ferries has accepted a new, 144-car state ferry from the builder, Vigor Industrial.

The state ferry system said Friday that after two months of sea trials and crew training, the new ferry Samish will begin service on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route on Sunday, June 14. That’s just in time for the start of the summer season.

Along with more space for tall vehicles, the $126 million ferry offers flexible seating configurations, improved heating and ventilation and wider stairwells and passageways.

The name comes from a tribal word meaning “giving people.”

The Samish is the second of three funded, Olympic Class vessels to replace the aging, midcentury-era Evergreen State Class ferries.

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