Saturday, January 5, 2019

Up up and away (on the ferry!)

The big new ferry enhancements funded by last summer's Regional Measure 3 are starting to roll out.

The new gate G is now open: Alameda/Oakland Passengers Now Board at Gate G in San Francisco.

All San Francisco arrivals and departures on San Francisco Bay Ferry’s Alameda/Oakland/San Francisco route now occur at the newly opened Gate G. Gate G is further south from Gate E and can only be accessed at this time via a pedestrian bridge that connects to The Embarcadero.

The dock expansions have been underway since 2012; you can see the original plan here: Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion. Make sure you scroll down through that large document to see the wonderful historical pictures of the Ferry Building as it looked nearly 100 years ago!

Meanwhile, the new maintenance facility is now in full operation: WETA Opens New Ferry Maintenance and Operations Hub in Alameda

The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) Board of Directors officially opened the new Ron Cowan Central Bay Maintenance and Operations Facility in Alameda on Thursday, December 13, 2018.

The $50 million facility serves as an operations and maintenance hub for WETA’s San Francisco Bay Ferry fleet serving Alameda, Oakland, Harbor Bay, San Francisco and South San Francisco. The project represents the first new major construction at the former Naval Air Station Alameda and is a part of the Alameda Point development.


Features of the new facility include:

  • Marine facility with berthing slips for 12 ferry vessels
  • Equipment and working yard that supports light repair and maintenance work
  • Dispatch and operations hub
  • Emergency response center
  • Fuel facility with a total storage capacity of 48,000 gallons
  • Site improvements including expansion of the San Francisco Bay Trail
  • New harbor seal float to prevent habitat displacement

I need to find a good (i.e., a dry) day to go out and see if I can find this new trail expansion segment.

Also, the new ferry line to Richmond is beginning operations!

  • Richmond ferry to SF begins Thursday, ushering new era for water travel in the Bay Area
    Promising an alternative to the harrowing Interstate 80 grind from Hercules all the way down to the Bay Bridge, a new Richmond terminal will on Thursday begin offering weekday commuter service to San Francisco. It’s the latest upgrade in a series of expansions for the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), also known as the San Francisco Bay Ferry, which runs routes from Vallejo, Oakland, Alameda and South San Francisco.


    The ferry will also be a significant driver of development in a city that has largely been passed up by the Bay Area’s real estate boom, said Richmond Mayor Tom Butt. A private operator had tried to implement ferry service from Richmond to San Francisco in the early ’90s, he said, but a sluggish economy and the lack of public subsidies made it unfeasible. It didn’t help that the ferry was slow, Butt said, with trips lasting just shy of an hour. WETA’s ferry will shuttle passengers in roughly 35 minutes.

    Brooke Maury and Sarah Rosen sold their San Francisco apartment for a condo in Richmond’s Marina Bay neighborhood, roughly a mile-and-a-half walk from the new terminal, in anticipation of the ferry’s opening. Both commute into San Francisco, packing themselves into overcrowded BART cars, an experience they’re looking forward to leaving behind.

  • SF Bay Ferry services starts heading to Richmond next month
    "The ferry really sells itself. It kind of goes around all that traffic that you experience there on I-80. You avoid the Bay Bridge and you come right into San Francisco after a nice, relaxing ride on the boat," said Hall.

Lastly, a rather confusing message from announces an additional run from Harbor Bay to San Francisco:

San Francisco Bay Ferry is adding an additional departure from Harbor Bay to San Francisco on weekdays beginning Monday, January 7. The vessel will depart Harbor Bay at 9 a.m. and arrive at the San Francisco Ferry Building at 9:30 a.m. This run will be in place on a trial basis -- we'll send out another BayAlert if anything changes.

Beginning Monday, the morning departures from Harbor Bay will occur at 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30 and 9:00.

The website, however, still lists only 4 morning runs.

What's this about a 8:00 morning run?

Perhaps the email meant to announce an 8:00 AM run, not a 9:00 AM run, and somehow the confusion turned into a message that listed both?

Who knows?

But ferries in the San Francisco Bay are the way to go, believe me!

1 comment:

  1. I'm interested in this from a transportation management point of view. Are ferries cost-effective compared to BART? Or is the explosion in ferries due to the fact that BART did not find a (presumably political) way to expand service to keep up with the demand?