Richmond Ferry Terminal
Specifically, the terminal is located at Ford Point on the Richmond Inner Harbor which opens onto the East Bay of San Francisco Bay. Ford Point derives its name from the historic Ford Plant that is located nearby which is now being converted to an industrial park.
The terminal hosted a commuter ferry service to the San Francisco Ferry Building weekdays and Fisherman's Wharf on weekends in addition to special Giant's Ballpark service during the baseball season. The voyage took approximately 45 minutes one-way. The service began in 1999, but was discontinued in the late 2000s in the economic downturn following the dot-com bust. Ferry ridership plummeted and the service became economically unsustainable, which led Red and White Fleet to discontinue the service. In fact the average ridership was 45 per trip and about 200 were needed for fiscal sustainability.
Recently most of the Richmond City Council except Tom Butt and Mayor Gayle McLaughlin have lost interest in the project, instead supporting using the site for expanded Toyota vehicle importation parking which that company has expressed an interest in.
The impetus for the reinstated ferry service continued in 2008 when the powers behind planning the project determined that there needed to be 750 "rooftops" within a half mile of the terminal site to generate significant and sustainable ridership figures. Senator Don Perata has secured 2 million dollars in monies from California State Proposition 1B for studies of several ferry proposals including new Richmond-San Francisco service; the Richmond study is planned to commence in the summer of 2008.
In 2012 WETA rebranded as the San Francisco Bay Ferry began operation of its first new ferry run, the South San Francisco Ferry and as such began exploring opportunities for additional new services was launched. Planning meetings were held to reopen and remodel the terminal at the Craneway Pavillion in Richmond's Marina Bay. A public comment period found that there were concerns for walking distance between ferry and parking and also bicycle parking. An environmental review was ordered to last up to nine months and service was expected to begin in 2015.
- Richmond hoping ferry service can be revived, by Katherine Tam, West County Times, July 10, 2008, access date July 13, 2008
- New Ferry to Serve Interstate 80 Commuters, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, September 1999, retrieved August 1, 2007
- Richmond Ferry to Sail, San Francisco Chronicle, by Michael Cabanatuan, September 27, 1999, retrieved August 1, 2007
- Richmond Ferry Wins Praise But Few Riders, San Francisco Chronicle by Benjamin Pimentel, October 6, 1999, retrieved August 1, 2007
- Ferry Terminal Site Decision Nears; Richmond Bid Stalls, Berkeley Daily Planet, by Richard Brenneman, retrieved August 1, 2007
- Officials showcase proposed Richmond commuter ferry, Spencer Whitley, Richmond Confidential, 22-06-2012, access date 03-07-2012