Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Ferry Service continues to expand

A large new terminal is being built to split the ferry system's busiest, most popular route into two separate routes: WETA To Expand Ferry Commute Service in Alameda and Oakland

The Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal is currently under construction on the former Naval Air Station Alameda. It is on track to be completed in mid-2020. The WETA Board on Thursday approved an agreement with the City of Alameda to operate ferry service at the new terminal and endorsed staff’s recommendation to take this opportunity to revamp Alameda commute service for the benefit of commuters. The Alameda City Council approved the agreement at its Tuesday meeting. “Alameda ferry ridership has boomed in recent years. Reorienting our Alameda commute service to use the new Seaplane Lagoon terminal will help us meet that growing demand and improve the entire ferry experience for passengers,” said Nina Rannells, WETA’s executive director. “We’re also thrilled to expand our commute service in Oakland to help ease roadway congestion and continue to build out the Bay’s ferry system.”

The announcement is a bit confusing in its description of which routes will still visit the old terminal:

Under the plan, the existing Main Street Alameda Ferry Terminal will continue to be used for non-commute ferry service to San Francisco (including weekends and special service to Oracle Park and Chase Center) and for the South San Francisco service.

Meanwhile, much sooner, the newest ferry dock at the Ferry Building is opening over President's Day Weekend: Ferry Gate and Queue Changes in Downtown S.F. Coming Tuesday, Feb. 18

Beginning on Tuesday, February 18, Richmond ferry arrivals and departures will be reassigned to Gate E at the Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal. Also, there will be access and queuing changes for Alameda/Oakland and Harbor Bay passengers in Downtown San Francisco.

During the afternoon commute runs, it's quite chaotic in this area of the waterfront. There are thousands of people out and about on the street who aren't even taking the ferries, just enjoying the beautiful waterfront access. Then, when you combine that with another thousand or so busy commuters who are Just Trying To Get Home, it can be a bit of a kerfluffle.

But it all seems to work out in the end.

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