Golden Gate Ferry

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Golden Gate Ferry
Golden Gate ferries at Larkspur Landing, November 2018.JPG
Four of the system's ferries at Larkspur Landing
LocaleSan Francisco Bay Area
WaterwaySan Francisco Bay (North Bay)
Transit typePassenger ferry
OwnerGolden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District
OperatorGolden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District
Began operationAugust 15, 1970
No. of lines4
No. of vessels7
No. of terminals5
Daily ridership8,509 per weekday (FY 2018)[1]

Golden Gate Ferry is a commuter ferry service operated by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in the Bay Area of Northern California. Regular service is run to the Ferry Building in San Francisco from Larkspur, Sausalito, and Tiburon in Marin County, with additional service from Larkspur to Oracle Park for San Francisco Giants games. The ferry service is funded primarily by passenger fares and Golden Gate Bridge tolls.


Golden Gate Ferry began service in 1970 with the M.S. Golden Gate.[2] Service to Larkspur started in 1976. Service to Pacific Bell Park (now Oracle Park) started in 2000. Tiburon service began on March 6, 2017.[3]

An additional terminal in Mission Bay intended to serve events at Chase Center is expected to open in 2021 at the foot of 16th Street,[4][5] with an interim terminal located at Pier 48½.[6] Ferries will serve these terminals from Larkspur Landing.

Beginning on March 6, 2021, all Sausalito service was replaced by buses for an expected two months due to maintenance of the Sausalito dock.[7]


Golden Gate Ferry headquarters at Larkspur Landing
Golden Gate Ferry
Larkspur Landing
Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit
San Francisco
San Francisco Bay Ferry San Francisco Municipal Railway#Heritage streetcars
Oracle Park
Chase Center
via Pier 48
San Francisco Bay
special event

Golden Gate Ferry operates regular passenger ferry service on three routes:

Limited service is also operated from Larkspur to Oracle Park for all San Francisco Giants baseball home games. Supplemental service is provided for special events.[8]

The Larkspur route has the most service, with 20 weekday round trips and 4 weekend round trips. The Sausalito route has 9 weekday round trips and 6 weekend round trips. The Tiburon route has 7 weekday round trips (all during peak commute hours) and no off-peak or weekend service.[9]

Fares and transfers[edit]

Golden Gate Ferry fares differ by route, passenger type, and method of payment.[10]

Route Fares
Adult Single Ride Adult Clipper Card Youth/Senior/Disabled/Medicare
Larkspur - Ferry Building $12.00 $7.75 $6.00
Sausalito - Ferry Building $12.50 $6.75 $6.25
Tiburon - Ferry Building $12.50 $6.50 $6.25
Larkspur - Oracle Park $13.50

Free transfers to/from Golden Gate Transit are available. Free transfers to/from Muni service in San Francisco were discontinued in 2010, though a small transfer discount was retained.[11] The Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit station at Larkspur is located 13 mile (0.5 km) from the ferry terminal.


The M.S. Sonoma crosses San Francisco Bay.

Golden Gate Ferry has a fleet of four catamarans and three monohull vessels.[12] All ferries are wheelchair accessible and can carry bicycles; the catamarans can carry 15 bicycles, the Marin can carry 100 bicycles, and the San Francisco and Sonoma can carry 25 bicycles. All ferries have on-board refreshments, including a full bar.

The monohull vessels are named M.S. Marin, M.S. San Francisco, and M.S. Sonoma. The Marin can carry 750 passengers, and the San Francisco and Sonoma can carry 630 passengers each. They were purchased from Philip F. Spaulding & Associates in San Diego in 1976–1977. They were originally powered by gas turbine water jets but were converted to diesel engine propeller drives in 1983–1985. More efficient diesel engines were installed in 2001 and 2002.[13] The Marin was refurbished from November 2006 to July 2007.[14]

The catamarans the MV Del Norte, MV Golden Gate, MV Mendocino, and MV Napa All have a capacity of 450 passengers except the 400-passenger Del Norte. The 1998-built Del Norte and 2001-built Mendocino were built for Golden Gate Ferry to allow faster and more frequent service than the monohull ferries. The Napa (formerly Snohomish) and Golden Gate (formerly Chinook) were purchased from Washington State Ferries in January 2009. The Napa underwent refurbishment starting in late 2009.[15]

In late 2018, Golden Gate Ferry reached an agreement to lease the MV Millennium from Rhode Island Fast Ferry for one year for $2.5 million. The Millennium will allow full service to continue while the Marin and Sonoma have major work and other ferries are repaired.[16]

MV Millenium of Rhode Island Fast Ferry in service with Golden Gate Ferry in September 2019.

When the M.S. Golden Gate retired in 2004, she had made 42,108 round trips between Sausalito and San Francisco, carried 21 million passengers and traveled nearly 1.3 million nautical miles (2,400,000 km; 1,500,000 mi).[17]


  1. ^ Golden Gate Ferry Statistics
  2. ^
  3. ^ "'Spiffy': Tiburon ferry riders welcome new service". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Mission Bay Ferry Landing". Port of San Francisco. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  5. ^ Rodriguez, Joe Fitzgerald (16 April 2019). "Who needs cars? Aggressive transit plan for Chase Arena discourages driving". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  6. ^ Keeling, Brock (17 April 2019). "New ferry service coming to Mission Bay". Curbed. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Sausalito Ferry Service Replaced with Bus Service during Temporary Removal of Sausalito Float" (Press release). Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. March 4, 2021.
  8. ^ "Golden Gate Bus & Ferry Services". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Golden Gate Ferry Schedules". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  10. ^ "Ferry Fare Programs". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  11. ^ "SF Muni Eliminates Free Golden Gate Ferry Transfers Effective April 1". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Golden Gate Ferry's Routes & Fleet". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  13. ^ "History of Golden Gate Ferry Service". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and Transportation District. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  14. ^ "Golden Gate Ferry Welcomes Back the M.S. Marin". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. 22 June 2007.
  15. ^ "M.V. Napa Arrives in Larkspur May 11, 2009". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. 11 May 2009.
  16. ^ Rodriguez, Adrian (October 30, 2018). "Golden Gate Ferry leases extra boat to ease crunch". Marin Independent Journal.
  17. ^

External links[edit]