Bailing Water Out of a Sinking Boat? SSF Ferry Adds Temporary Routes

A passenger aboard the ferry Gemini watches the ferry Pisces (left) head back to the Oyster Point Marine Ferry Terminal after a bay cruise during the San Francisco Bay Ferry South San Francisco Inaugural Celebration. Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle

Is it worth $10 bucks per person to take the Ferry from South City’s Oyster Point Marina to San Francisco and back again?

We’ll find out in time as WETA is now working to add a few more trips hoping to bump up ridership starting at the end of this month.  The added midday routes, touted as ‘Leisure Trips’, will only be running 2 days a week;

Wednesday/Friday leave Oyster Point at 9am

Wednesday return at 1:50

Friday return at 3:15

WETA (Water Emergency Transit Authority) is betting on increased ridership during the summer months and this schedule is slated to run from April 29th – August 30th.    The hope is that schools will use this transit for field trips and residents for the opportunity to ride the Ferry and visit San Francisco.  The San Francisco destinations are the Ferry Building and Pier 41.

The Ferry will also add an additional SSF evening departure at 6:20pm, along with the 4:20pm and 5:20pm departures to the East Bay. Cost will remain the same for the evening departures. Currently the East Bay roundtrips are being subsidized by taxpayers at the cost of $100 roundtrip.

There has been much disappointed that the original projected figures of 100,000 riders a year has not nearly been reached, as reports show only an average of 131 riders per day for commuters. If you are a commuter from the East Bay and would like to try the Ferry, free tickets are available on Commute.org.  Planners looked forward to 2025 when they believed 1,000 passengers per day would ride the Ferry as more development continues East of Grand Avenue.  The additional $230,000 cost to bring the new routes and schedules to South San Francisco may be what this transit needs to stimulate more ridership growth. Or maybe it is only bailing water out of a sinking boat. Time will tell.

Proposition 1B

The November 7, 2006 ballot saw Proposition 1B identified as ‘Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security for the State of California’ and won by 61.2% to 38.8%.

Should the state sell $19.9 billion in general obligation bonds to fund state and local transportation improvement projects to relieve congestion, improve movement of goods, improve air quality, and enhance safety and security of the transportation system?

Summary Prepared by the State Attorney General: This act makes safety improvements and repairs to state highways, upgrades freeways to reduce congestion, repairs local streets and roads, upgrades highways along major transportation corridors, improves seismic safety of local bridges, expands public transit, helps complete the state’s network of car pool lanes, reduces air pollution, and improves anti-terrorism security at shipping ports by providing for a bond issue not to exceed nineteen billion nine hundred twenty-five million dollars ($19,925,000,000). (Put on the ballot by the Legislature)

Fiscal Impact from the Legislative Analyst:

State costs of approximately $38.9 billion over 30 years to repay bonds. Additional unknown state and local operations and maintenance costs.

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
The state could sell $19.9 billion in general obligation bonds, for state and local transportation improvement projects to relieve congestion, improve the movement of goods, improve air quality, and enhance the safety and security of the transportation system. 
A NO vote on this measure means:
The state could not sell $19.9 billion in general obligation bonds, for these purposes.

There has been much disappointed that the original projected figures of 100,000 riders a year has not nearly been reached, as reports show only an average of 131 riders per day for commuters.  Planners looked forward to 2025 when they believed 1,000 passengers per day would utilize this means of transit.   The additional $230,000 cost to bring the new routes and times to South San Francisco may be what this transit needs to stimulate more ridership growth. Or maybe it is only bailing water out of a sinking boat. Time will tell.

 

******

$51 million Cost of South San Francisco Ferry Terminal
$44 million State bond money for ferry projects
$19.1 million Total expected to be approved Thursday in contracts for South City’s gangway, pier and terminal construction
1,000 Projected daily passengers using South City terminal by 2025
Fall 2011 Projected opening date of South City Ferry Terminal
2005 Original projected opening

Source: WETA

1 comment for “Bailing Water Out of a Sinking Boat? SSF Ferry Adds Temporary Routes

  1. Stacey
    April 27, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I think a ferry from SSF to SF is a good idea and I would pay $10 for a round trip ride. It’s not something I would use on a daily basis but rather event focused. I was disappointed to find out there was no ferry running this schedule during fleet week as this would have been the ideal mode of transportation for many and a great way reduce car traffic in the city.

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