WETA Awards $30 Million for Two New Ferries
SAN FRANCISCO, October 9, 2020 – The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) Board of Directors has authorized the agency to award Mavrik Marine Inc. $30 million to build two new high-speed passenger ferries to serve Bay Area commuters.
The new vessels will replace MV Solano and MV Bay Breeze in WETA’s San Francisco Bay Ferry fleet. MV Solano was taken out of service at the end of 2019 and MV Bay Breeze is on track to be retired in 2021.
The new ferries will carry 320 passengers each and operate at a speed of 36 knots (approximately 41 miles per hour), becoming the fastest vessels in the San Francisco Bay Ferry fleet. The new vessels will make WETA’s fleet more efficient and keep the agency ready to perform its emergency response mission when called upon.
Through a competitive process, WETA selected Mavrik Marine, based in La Conner, Wash., to build these ferries. Mavrik Marine is also currently building two 320-passenger ferries for WETA set to be delivered over the next year. The first, MV Dorado, is expected to arrive in the Bay Area in January 2021 and will enter service shortly thereafter. The second, MV Delphinus, is expected later in 2021.
WETA’s long-range strategic plan calls for expanding the fleet to 44 vessels by 2035, pending available funding. WETA has added seven new ferries into service since 2017, dramatically reshaping and modernizing the Bay’s fleet. WETA currently owns 16 vessels and has two more under construction. Once these replacement vessels are completed, WETA will have a fleet of 18 ferries with a combined 6,085 seats.
The contract with Mavrik Marine includes an optional third vessel of the same model that may be exercised by the Board of Directors in the future should WETA identify the need and funding for this additional vessel.
The two ferries authorized today will be funded largely through Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants with additional capital contributions from regional bridge tolls, state cap-and-trade funds, Alameda transportation sales tax proceeds and state transit assistance funds.