Last week, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District) was awarded a $5.9 million grant to help acquire a new high-speed ferry vessel that will enhance service reliability for its 2.5 million annual ferry riders. The newly announced funding will help Golden Gate Ferry increase its ferry fleet to eight passenger vessels.
“With the growing popularity of ferry travel connecting San Francisco and the North Bay, increasing the ferry fleet allows more families and commuters to enjoy fast connections between home, work, and school, all while relieving car congestion on the Golden Gate Bridge,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “I was proud to join in fighting for this federal ferry grant, as House Democrats are fighting For The People to raise wages by rebuilding America with green, modern, job-creating infrastructure.”
The funding announcement coincides with a boom in ferry ridership over the last decade, evidenced by a 34% increase in Golden Gate Ferry trips since 2008. Today, Golden Gate Ferry serves over 8,500 daily riders, of which 80% are local commuters who might otherwise drive on Highway 101 and across the Golden Gate Bridge to get to work.
“With SMART rail extending to Larkspur soon, an additional high-speed ferry will ensure North Bay commuters have comfortable and reliable transit options into San Francisco,” said Congressman Jared Huffman, a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. “I am glad that the FTA is recognizing the importance of Golden Gate Ferry service with this important grant. We will continue to work across the Bay to build on this progress.”
This growth in ridership has put a strain on the existing fleet. All seven of the District’s ferries are currently in use during peak summer season, stretching the ability to perform routine maintenance and posing a challenge to the day-to-day reliability of ferry service. Earlier this year, the District leased a high-speed ferry as a stop-gap measure, but only a permanent increase to the fleet size will ensure ferries continue to run smoothly between San Francisco and the North Bay.
“Thank you to the FTA and our elected leaders for your support of expanded ferry service across the Bay. Our ferries and buses remove 20% of commute hour traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge, and a new high-speed ferry will help us maintain and enhance the quality service our riders have come to expect,” said Denis Mulligan, General Manager of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.
The $5.9 million FTA grant will fund 20% of the $30 million cost of a new 500 passenger high-speed ferry. The District has also submitted another $18 million federal grant application to help fund the purchase. The new ferry is expected to be in service by early 2023.
The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District) Board of Directors voted unanimously to establish a means-based fare program that would provide a fare discount for low-income riders on Golden Gate Transit regional bus routes and regular (non-special event) Golden Gate Ferry service. The means-based fare program is expected to begin in early 2020. The discounted fares will only be available to eligible passengers through the Clipper Card program.
For the 2019 Fall and Winter seasons, Larkspur Ferry is adjusting their weekday ferry schedule by eliminating the 11:40 AM departure out of Larkspur and the 12:25 PM departure out of SF.
On November 29, 2019, the Friday after Thankgsiving, the Larkspur Ferry will operate on a reduced schedule.
Ride Golden Gate Ferry from Larkspur to Chase Center for concerts and Warriors home games in 2019!
On Monday, September 23, 2019 Larkspur Ferry will begin running its fall schedule, which eliminates the trips departing Larkspur at 11:40 am and departing San Francisco at 12:25 pm
This summer, the vessels of Golden Gate Ferry (GGF) have been on a rotation of dry-docking for required maintenance and enhancements. Here are the latest improvements to our fleet:
Golden Gate Ferry will be providing direct ferry service between the San Francisco Ferry Building and the 2019 Sausalito Art Festival this Labor Day Weekend – Saturday, August 31 through Monday, September 2, 2019.
The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District) Board of Directors voted unanimously on Friday, July 26, 2019, to set a public hearing to receive public comment on the establishment of “means-based fares” that would provide a fare discount for low-income riders on Golden Gate Transit regional bus routes and regular (non-special event) Golden Gate Ferry service. The public hearing is set for Thursday, August 22, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. in the Board Room, Administration Building, Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza, in San Francisco.
On Sunday, August 11, 2019, due to the Giants game time change for television coverage, the Larkspur Giants Ferry departure time has changed as well.
San Francisco Pride Parade & Celebration takes place this Saturday and Sunday, June 29 and 30, and Golden Gate Transit and Golden Gate Ferry can safely get you there!