What is the San Francisco Bay Ferry?[br]Who is WETA? Why the changes?
What is the San Francisco Bay Ferry?
Who is WETA? Why the changes?
Whether you’ve been a long-time rider or just an occasional cruiser aboard the Alameda/Oakland, Harbor Bay or Vallejo BayLink Ferry, some recent changes in ferry service names and logos might have you wondering “What happened to my ferry?”
In 1999 the California Legislature established the San Francisco Bay Area Water Transit Authority (WTA) in order to create a regional ferry agency to plan and implement new ferry services in the San Francisco Bay Area with a focus on improving general mobility and reducing traffic congestion.
In 2007, the legislature directed the agency to take over existing public ferry transit systems operated by the cities of Vallejo and Alameda and expanded the Authority’s role to include coordination and oversight of the ferry transit response in the event of a natural disaster. With this increased responsibility came a new name: the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA).
Water transit on San Francisco Bay is a critical component in the Bay Area’s economy. Not only do thousands of commuters use ferries to get to work each day, but hundreds of thousands of visitors ride the ferries to experience such attractions as Alcatraz, Angel Island, AT&T Park and Pier 39 each year.
Ferries also serve as an important part of the region’s emergency response capability. In the event that an earthquake or other natural disaster disrupts highway traffic on the bridges that connect the major communities and employment centers of the Bay Area, ferries are able to serve as an alternative means to move people in these corridors.
Over the last few years, WETA’s board and staff have worked collaboratively with local, regional, state and federal agencies, customers and other interested parties to:
- further develop and enhance ferry transportation in the Bay Area;
- transition Alameda/Oakland, Alameda Harbor Bay and Vallejo ferry services to WETA’s regional San Francisco Bay Ferry system;
- expand the region’s fast ferry fleet;
- construct a new terminal and launched new service to South San Francisco;
- advance environmental and planning processes for additional expansion services;
- develop plans for regional ferry maintenance and operations facilities; and,
- develop plans for expanding ferry berthing capacity in downtown San Francisco.
As of July 1, 2012, WETA is responsible for operating San Francisco Bay Ferry service that serves Oakland (Jack London Square); Alameda (Harbor Bay and Main Street/Gateway); San Francisco (Downtown Ferry Building and Pier 41); South San Francisco (Oyster Point Marina); and Vallejo. Seasonal service is also provided to Angel Island and AT&T Park. Working with the community, civic and transit partners WETA is actively evaluating the potential for future expansion services to several locations including Richmond, Berkeley, Treasure Island, Redwood City, Hercules, Martinez and Antioch.
Ferry transportation is a vital and vibrant component of the Bay Area’s work, travel, hospitality and emergency preparedness landscape. Through operation of the San Francisco Bay Ferry, WETA is committed to working with local cities, communities and customers to create a comprehensive, integrated regional ferry transit system on San Francisco Bay.
Commuting Between the East Bay and South San Francisco?
Try the Ferry for FREE!
New Mid-Day Fri/Wed Service From South San Francisco!
To SF Ferry Building & Pier 41. Starts May 1st.