South San Francisco, CA September 22, 2021 Press Release
The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) today announced that it will resume weekday service on San Francisco Bay Ferry’s South San Francisco route on November 8. The route connects commuters traveling between Oakland, Alameda and South San Francisco.
The South San Francisco route was suspended at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 along with two other commute-focused ferry routes. WETA timed the resumption of service to ensure service is in place as major South San Francsico employers prepare to implement return-to-work plans.
The route will feature a modified the schedule based on passenger and employer feedback. The new South San Francisco schedule is available at sanfranciscobayferry.com/new-schedules.
“South San Francisco is an important part of our ferry network and the regional economy, and we’re so excited to resume service on November 8,” said Jim Wunderman, Chair of the WETA Board of Directors. “This is a crucial, convenient service for commuters and the major employers at Oyster Point. Growth is continuing to happen in South San Francisco and we’re ready to improve access and welcome these riders back to the system.”
WETA previously planned to resume South San Francisco service in October, but the Delta variant surge in local COVID-19 cases over this summer led some major employers to push back their return-to-office plans. The new resumption date will ensure that ferry service is there to support an expected gradual increase in commuter travel through the end of the year, and expanded return-to-office plans beginning in January.
WETA launched its Pandemic Recovery Program on July 1. The Program is designed to incentivize ridership by restoring ferry service throughout the region while lowering fares for the period of one year. WETA reduced the South San Francisco fare by 17 percent under the Pandemic Recovery Program.
Once the South San Francisco route resumes, San Francisco Bay Ferry will offer 145 weekday trips across the Bay, 38 percent more than prior to the pandemic.
Under the enhanced service and lower fares, average weekday ferry ridership in July and August increased 96 percent compared to the prior two-month period. Average weekday ridership since July 1 represents 31 percent of San Francisco Bay Ferry’s pre-pandemic seasonal average.