San Francisco Bay Ferry

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San Francisco Bay Ferry
San Francisco Bay Ferry logo.svg
San Francisco Bay Ferry Hydrus May 2017.jpg
Hydrus departing the Ferry Building in San Francisco
LocaleSan Francisco Bay Area
WaterwaySan Francisco Bay
Transit typePassenger ferry
OwnerSan Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority
OperatorBlue & Gold Fleet
Began operation2011 (consolidation of existing service)
No. of lines6 (plus 5 special)
No. of vessels13[1]
No. of terminals9
Daily ridership4,500 (weekdays, Q3 2022)[2]
Yearly ridership759,900 (2021)[3]
Websitesanfranciscobayferry.com
Route map

Mare Island
Vallejo
Richmond
Pier 41
San Francisco Municipal Railway#Heritage streetcars
San Francisco
Golden Gate Ferry Bay Area Rapid Transit BSicon LOGO SFmuni.svg
Oracle Park
Chase Center
Oakland
Amtrak
Alameda Main Street
Alameda Seaplane Lagoon
Harbor Bay
South San Francisco
San Francisco Bay
special event service

San Francisco Bay Ferry is a public transit passenger ferry service in the San Francisco Bay, administered by the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA). In 2021, the system had a ridership of 759,900, or about 4,500 per weekday as of the third quarter of 2022.

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

Routes[edit]

San Francisco Bay Ferry operates six ferry routes:

There are two "short hop" routes that do not cross the bay:

  • Alameda Short Hop: On weekdays, connects Main Street Terminal on the northern shore of Alameda Island with the Oakland Ferry Terminal in the morning, and Oakland with Alameda in the evening. At other times this connection is served by the Oakland & Alameda route above.
  • Pier 41 Short Hop: On weekends, connects the San Francisco Ferry Building with San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf at Pier 41. Trips are timed to connect with ferries on the Oakland & Alameda, Richmond, and Vallejo routes.

There are also three seasonal sports routes:

  • Oracle Park–Oakland & Alameda: Service between the Main Street Terminal on the northern shore of Alameda Island, the Oakland Ferry Terminal and the China Basin Ferry Terminal adjacent to Oracle Park for all San Francisco Giants home games
  • Oracle Park–Vallejo: Service between the Vallejo Ferry Terminal in Vallejo, and the China Basin Ferry Terminal adjacent to Oracle Park for all San Francisco Giants home games.
  • Chase Center–Oakland & Alameda: Service between the Main Street Terminal on the northern shore of Alameda Island, the Oakland Ferry Terminal and Pier 48 near Chase Center for all Golden State Warriors home games

History[edit]

Vallejo[edit]

Commuter service to Vallejo began in September 1986. It operated by Red & White Fleet without subsidy, though Vallejo funded the simultaneously-opened ferry terminal.[6] The company lost money on the commuter service; in October 1988, the city began subsidizing service. The passage of Regional Measure 1 the next month provided additional funding.[6] After the 1989 earthquake, service was temporarily increased using three ferries rented from the Washington State Ferries system. The 1990 passage of Proposition 116 provided $10 million for the purchase of new vessels, with an additional $17 million from the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act.[6] A new vessel (MV Jet Cat Express) and a new operator (Blue & Gold Fleet) began operations on July 1, 1994. Two high-speed catamarans (MV Intintoli and MV Mare Island) were put into service in May 1997 under a new Baylink brand.[6] The MV Solano was added in 2004, allowing an increase from 11 to 15 daily round trips.[6] This link is part of the Western Express Bicycle Route.

Emergency service[edit]

In the days and weeks following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, ferry service was hastily restored between San Francisco and the East Bay while the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge was closed for repairs.[7] After the Bay Bridge reopened in November 1989, service between Jack London Square, Main Street Alameda, and the San Francisco Ferry Building was maintained as the Alameda/Oakland Ferry, managed by the City of Alameda and operated by Red & White Fleet with subsidies from local governments and Caltrans.[8]

In March 1992, Alameda Harbor Bay Ferry service was begun between Harbor Bay ferry terminal on Bay Farm Island and the San Francisco Ferry Building. It was initially funded by Harbor Bay Isle Associates, the master real estate developer of the Harbor Bay development.[8]

The popularity of the revived ferries and the need for a robust ferry system in the event that the region's roads and tunnels become impassable in an emergency ultimately led to the creation of the San Francisco Bay Ferry system.[9] The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) is a government entity created by the California state legislature in 2007 by Senate Bill 976.[10] The organization is a successor to the San Francisco Bay Water Transit Authority (WTA), which the legislature established in 1999.[11][8]

Consolidation and expansion[edit]

WETA assumed responsibility and ownership of the SF–Oakland/Alameda and SF–Harbor Bay ferry services previously operated by the City of Alameda in May 2011 and January 2012 respectively.[12] Service between Oakland Ferry Terminal and the city of South San Francisco began on June 4, 2012, which also coincided with use of the new San Francisco Bay Ferry name.[13][14][15] WETA assumed control of Vallejo Baylink service on July 1, 2012.[16] Approximately half of the agency's operating funds come from Regional Measure 2, a $1 toll increase on Bay Area bridges approved in 2004, and the other half comes from fares.[17][18] Since 2011, the private Blue & Gold Fleet has been under contract to operate the ferries on behalf of WETA.[19]

On April 29, 2013, a third evening trip from South San Francisco to Oakland was added, as well as a midday leisure-oriented round trip on Wednesdays and Fridays between South San Francisco and Pier 41 via the Ferry Building.[20] South San Francisco–Ferry Building service was expanded to Monday through Friday on November 3, 2014, with the Pier 41 segment dropped.[21] The single reverse commute trip on the South San Francisco–Oakland/Alameda route was dropped on May 4, 2015, leaving only three peak-direction round trips.[22] South San Francisco–Ferry Building service ended on July 2, 2018.[23]

Seasonal direct service between Oakland/Alameda and Angel Island ended on October 26, 2014; timed transfers at Pier 41 for Blue & Gold Fleet service to Angel Island were introduced beginning with the 2015 summer season.[24][25] On January 2, 2017, WETA increased weekday Vallejo service to 14 southbound and 13 northbound trips, with route 200 bus service discontinued.[26] SolTrans began operating a single northbound route 82 bus trip via the Ferry Building in the late evening, intended for passengers who miss the last ferry to Vallejo.[27] On March 6, 2017, service to Mare Island began as a short extension of Vallejo service. Initially, seven weekday round trips and four weekend round trips were extended to Mare Island.[28]

Weekday commuter service from a remodeled Richmond Ferry Terminal, in Richmond's Marina Bay District, to San Francisco was approved for funding and planning in 2015.[29][30] Service commenced on January 10, 2019 with commute and limited reverse commute services.[31] Weekday peak and evening service between the San Francisco Ferry Building and the Alameda Seaplane Lagoon on the southern shore of Alameda Island began July 1, 2021.[32]

Future expansion[edit]

Richmond Ferry Terminal opened in 2019

An additional terminal in Mission Bay intended to serve events at Chase Center is expected to open in 2024 at the foot of 16th Street,[33][34] with an interim terminal currently located at Pier 48.[35]

WETA plans to establish new service from Berkeley and Redwood City to San Francisco. Its long-term vision also includes service from San Francisco to Antioch, Hercules, Martinez, and Treasure Island.[36] WETA projects the fleet to increase from 13 to 57 vessels by 2035 to accommodate these new services plus frequency increases on existing routes.[37]

Annual ridership[edit]

FY* Alameda/Oakland Harbor Bay Richmond South San Francisco Vallejo Systemwide
2006–07 443,000 130,000 897,000 1,470,000
2007–08 459,000 145,000 848,000 1,452,000 −1.2%
2008–09 400,000 143,000 690,000 1,233,000 −15.1%
2009–10 421,000 147,000 682,000 1,250,000 +1.4%
2010–11 455,130 154,000 697,000 1,306,000 +4.5%
2011–12 545,393 177,159 5,141 668,770 1,391,322 +6.5%
2012–13 606,960 203,131 40,505 713,300 1,563,896 +12.4%
2013–14 821,633 246,695 84,098 826,445 1,978,871 +26.5%
2014–15 911,473 266,304 107,389 858,665 2,143,831 +8.3%
2015–16 1,149,085 311,313 125,946 959,939 2,546,283 +18.8%
2016–17 1,183,188 321,289 136,320 1,000,773 2,641,570 +3.7%
2017–18 1,311,041 332,283 144,735 1,056,342 2,844,401 +7.7%
2018–19 1,384,300 355,713 84,576 142,749 1,081,665 3,048,733 +7.18%
Sources:[38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46]

Fleet[edit]

As of late 2018, the WETA's fleet consists of thirteen vessels, with three under construction at Dakota Creek Industries and expected to enter service in 2019.[37][needs update] Long term plans call for an additional 44 ferries to enter the fleet by 2035.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "San Francisco Bay Ferry Fleet" (PDF). Water Emergency Transportation Authority. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  2. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Third Quarter 2022" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. November 22, 2022. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  3. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2021" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. March 10, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  4. ^ "San Francisco Bay Ferry". San Francisco Bay Ferry. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  5. ^ "South San Francisco Ferry Route". San Francisco Bay Ferry. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e "The History of Vallejo Ferry Service". Baylink. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013.
  7. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (February 24, 2006). "BAY AREA / Ferry godmother / After a big quake, water travel may save the day -- and lives". San Francisco Chronicle.
  8. ^ a b c "Water Emergency Transportation Authority Draft Final Transition Plan" (PDF). Water Emergency Transportation Authority. June 18, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  9. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (April 13, 2006). "BAY AREA / Revived push for water-transit network / Emergency system seen as necessary after a big quake". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  10. ^ "WETA's Role in Emergency Response". San Francisco Bay Ferry.
  11. ^ "Senate Bill 428 Establishes Bay Area Water Transit Authority". Bay Crossings. January 2000.
  12. ^ "2020 Short Range Transit Plan" (PDF). Water Emergency Transportation Authority. pp. 11–12. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  13. ^ "New South San Francisco Service Launches June 4, 2012 | San Francisco Bay Ferry". Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  14. ^ "SFBF to Expand South San Francisco Service | San Francisco Bay Ferry". Archived from the original on May 6, 2013. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  15. ^ "From South San Francisco to San Francisco Ferry Bldg". sanfranciscobayferry.com. San Francisco Bay Ferry. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  16. ^ "San Francisco Bay Ferry Assumes Operation of City of Vallejo's Baylink Ferry Service" (Press release). July 2, 2012.
  17. ^ "WETA Strategic Plan". 2016.
  18. ^ McGall, Andrew (September 14, 2015). "San Francisco Bay ferry rider surge fuels expansion dream". San Jose Mercury News.
  19. ^ "WATER EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY AWARDS FERRY OPERATING CONTRACT TO BLUE & GOLD FLEET" (PDF). San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority. October 11, 2011.
  20. ^ "SFBF to Expand South San Francisco Service" (Press release). San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority. April 4, 2013. Archived from the original on May 6, 2013.
  21. ^ "From South San Francisco to San Francisco Ferry Bldg". San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on April 30, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  22. ^ "San Francisco Bay Ferry" (PDF). Bay Crossings. Vol. 16, no. 5. May 2015. p. 25.
  23. ^ "South San Francisco to San Francisco Ferry Bldg". San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on December 6, 2018.
  24. ^ "From Oakland Jack London Square to Angel Island". San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on September 22, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  25. ^ "Getting to Angel Island State Park From Alameda, Oakland or Vallejo". San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on April 29, 2015. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  26. ^ "Enhanced Vallejo Ferry Weekday Schedule In Effect Beginning January 2, 2017" (PDF) (Press release). San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority.
  27. ^ "New SolTrans Route 82 to Replace WETA's Route 200 Late Night Trips" (PDF) (Press release). Solano County Transit. December 29, 2016.
  28. ^ "Mare Island Ferry service begins on March 6, 2017" (PDF) (Press release). San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority.
  29. ^ Officials showcase proposed Richmond commuter ferry, Spencer Whitley, Richmond Confidential, June 22, 2012, access date July 3, 2012
  30. ^ Goldberg, Ted (November 18, 2015). "Richmond Ferry Service to San Francisco Inches Closer to Reality". KQED. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  31. ^ "About Ferry Service Between Richmond and the San Francisco Ferry Building". Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  32. ^ Potter, Pat (July 6, 2021). "Celebrating New Ferry". Alameda Sun. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  33. ^ "Mission Bay Ferry Landing". Port of San Francisco. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  34. ^ Rodriguez, Joe Fitzgerald (16 April 2019). "Who needs cars? Aggressive transit plan for Chase Arena discourages driving". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  35. ^ Keeling, Brock (17 April 2019). "New ferry service coming to Mission Bay". Curbed. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  36. ^ "Proposed Routes". San Francisco Bay Ferry. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  37. ^ a b c "PPG, MTU Power Bay Area's New Ferries". Marine Link. September 18, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  38. ^ "Short Range Transit Plan FY2012 – FY2021" (PDF). Water Emergency Transportation Authority. 2012. Appendix A. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  39. ^ "Meeting of the Board of Directors" (PDF). Water Emergency Transportation Authority. August 29, 2013. Attachment 1. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  40. ^ "Meeting of the Board of Directors" (PDF). Water Emergency Transportation Authority. July 10, 2014. Attachment 1. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  41. ^ "Meeting of the Board of Directors" (PDF). Water Emergency Transportation Authority. August 24, 2015. Attachment A (Total Passengers Current FY To Date). Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  42. ^ "Meeting of the Board of Directors" (PDF). Water Emergency Transportation Authority. September 3, 2015. Attachment A (Total Passengers June 2015). Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  43. ^ "Meeting of the Board of Directors" (PDF). Water Emergency Transportation Authority. August 4, 2016. Attachment A (Total Passengers Current FY To Date). Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  44. ^ "Meeting of the Board of Directors" (PDF). Water Emergency Transportation Authority. September 1, 2016. Attachment A (Total Passengers June 2016). Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  45. ^ "Meeting of the Board of Directors" (PDF). Water Emergency Transportation Authority. September 7, 2017. Attachment A (Total Passengers June 2017). Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  46. ^ "Meeting of the Board of Directions". Water Emergency Transportation Authority. August 2, 2018. Attachment A (Total Passengers June 2018. Retrieved May 12, 2017.

External links[edit]