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Golden Gate Ferry

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Golden Gate Ferry
Four of the system's ferries at the Larkspur Landing headquarters
LocaleMarin County, San Francisco
WaterwaySan Francisco Bay (North Bay)
Transit typePassenger ferry
OperatorGolden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District
Began operationAugust 15, 1970 (1970-08-15)
No. of lines5 (plus 2 special)
No. of vessels7
No. of terminals6
Daily ridership3,500 (weekdays, Q1 2024)[1]
Yearly ridership1,299,200 (2023)[2]

Golden Gate Ferry is a commuter ferry service operated by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in San Francisco Bay, part of the Bay Area of Northern California, United States. Regular service is run to the Ferry Building in San Francisco from Larkspur, Sausalito, Tiburon, and Angel Island in Marin County, with additional service from Larkspur to Oracle Park and Chase Center. The ferry service is funded primarily by passenger fares and Golden Gate Bridge tolls. In 2023, Golden Gate Ferry had a ridership of 1,299,200, or about 3,500 per weekday as of the first quarter of 2024.

Golden Gate Ferry is a different system from San Francisco Bay Ferry, which provides passenger ferry service between San Francisco and counties other than Marin.


Golden Gate Ferry began service between San Francisco and Sausalito on August 15, 1970 with the M.S. Golden Gate.[3] Service to Larkspur started in 1976. Service to Pacific Bell Park (now Oracle Park) started in 2000. Tiburon service began on March 6, 2017,[4] replacing service that had been run by Blue & Gold Fleet and other private operators since 1962.[5] Service to Chase Center began in 2019 using an interim terminal located at Pier 48½.[6] A permanent Mission Bay terminal is expected to open in 2021 at the foot of 16th Street to replace the nearby interim Chase Center terminal.[7][8] The agency began operating ferries to Angel Island in December 2021.[9]


Golden Gate Ferry headquarters at Larkspur Landing.
Golden Gate Ferry
Larkspur Landing
Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit
Angel Island
San Francisco
San Francisco Bay Ferry Bay Area Rapid Transit
Oracle Park
Chase Center (Pier 481/2)
San Francisco Bay
special event service

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

Limited service operates from Larkspur to Oracle Park for San Francisco Giants baseball home games and from Larkspur to Chase Center for Golden State Warriors basketball home games. Supplemental service is provided for special events.[10]

Fares and transfers[edit]

Golden Gate Ferry fares differ by route, passenger type, and method of payment.[11] As of December 2021, fares are as follows:

Route Fares
Adult Single Ride Adult Clipper Card Youth / Senior / Disabled / Medicare
Larkspur - Ferry Building $13.50 $8.50 $6.75
Sausalito - Ferry Building $14.00 $7.50 $7.00
Tiburon - Ferry Building $14.00 $7.50 $7.00
Angel Island - Ferry Building $14.00 $9.00 $7.00
Larkspur - Chase Center $15.00
Larkspur - Oracle Park $15.50

Transfer discounts are available to/from Golden Gate Transit, Marin Transit, Muni, and SMART for Clipper card users.


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. The catamarans can carry 30 bicycles, and the monohull vessels can carry 150 bicycles. All ferries have restrooms and 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 2001-2002.[13] The Marin was refurbished from November 2006 to July 2007.[14]

The catamarans are named the M.V. Del Norte, M.V. Golden Gate, M.V. Mendocino, and M.V. Napa. The Del Norte has a capacity of 400 passengers while the other three vessels have a capacity of 450 passengers. 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.[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 allowed full service to continue while the Marin and Sonoma underwent major work and the other ferries received regular maintenance.[16] The Millennium remained in service until 2020 before returning to Rhode Island.

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. ^ "Transit Ridership Report First Quarter 2024" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. May 23, 2024. Retrieved May 31, 2024.
  2. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2023" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. March 4, 2024. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  3. ^ Prado, Mark (August 14, 2010). "Golden Gate Ferry celebrates 40 years". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  4. ^ "'Spiffy': Tiburon ferry riders welcome new service". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  5. ^ Prial, Frank (May 2, 1971). "Ferryboat Return Pleases San Francisco Commuters". The New York times. Retrieved October 24, 2022.
  6. ^ Keeling, Brock (April 17, 2019). "New ferry service coming to Mission Bay". Curbed. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  7. ^ "Mission Bay Ferry Landing". Port of San Francisco. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  8. ^ Rodriguez, Joe Fitzgerald (April 16, 2019). "Who needs cars? Aggressive transit plan for Chase Arena discourages driving". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  9. ^ Houston, Will (December 14, 2021). "Golden Gate Bridge district begins Angel Island ferry route". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved October 21, 2022.
  10. ^ "Golden Gate Bus & Ferry Services". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  11. ^ "Ferry Fares & Payment". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Retrieved October 21, 2022.
  12. ^ "Fleet". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  13. ^ "History of Golden Gate Ferry Service". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and Transportation District. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  14. ^ "Golden Gate Ferry Welcomes Back the M.S. Marin". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. June 22, 2007.
  15. ^ "M.V. Napa Arrives in Larkspur May 11, 2009". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. May 11, 2009.
  16. ^ Rodriguez, Adrian (October 30, 2018). "Golden Gate Ferry leases extra boat to ease crunch". Marin Independent Journal.
  17. ^ Carl Nolte (August 14, 2010). "After 40 years, ferries thriving on S.F. Bay". Sfgate.com. Retrieved April 5, 2022.

External links[edit]