Assemblymember Wilson, Partners Welcome MV Delphinus to SF Bay Ferry Fleet

SAN FRANCISCO | March 25, 2024 – San Francisco Bay Ferry and its partners today celebrated the commissioning of MV Delphinus, the newest high-speed passenger vessel to join its fleet.

"I am thrilled to welcome MV Delphinus into our ferry fleet, marking a significant enhancement for commuters from Vallejo and beyond,” said Assemblymember Lori Wilson. “Today's commissioning celebration underscores the culmination of a collaborative effort with our esteemed partners. As Chair of Transportation, I am particularly proud of the strides we've made in providing a more reliable, faster, and modern ferry experience, thanks to the support of our state and federal partners. MV Delphinus exemplifies our commitment to meeting passenger needs, with design modifications based on valuable feedback. As the Vallejo route continues to lead in ridership within our system, and with SF Bay Ferry's remarkable recovery in ridership post-pandemic, MV Delphinus symbolizes our dedication to serving our communities and advancing clean transportation solutions.”

Assemblymember Wilson, who represents Vallejo in the California State Legislature, was joined at the celebration by Vallejo Mayor Robert McConnell and, representing the SF Bay Ferry Board of the Directors, Chair Jim Wunderman and Director Pippin Dew.

MV Delphinus carries 320 passengers and will operate primarily on the Vallejo route. The vessel, which is the second in the Dorado class, can operate on all SF Bay Ferry routes due to its combination of speed and size.

"MV Delphinus represents the latest SF Bay Ferry investment in providing a clean, safe, relaxing and affordable way to cross the Bay," said Pippin Dew of the SF Bay Ferry Board of Directors. "We want to thank all of our partners for believing in a bright ferry future in the Bay Area. Here's to more ferries, more terminals and more service!"

>> Photos and videos of MV Delphinus are available for media use

MV Delphinus was built by Mavrik Marine in La Conner, Wash. Design was completed by One2three Naval Architects and construction management services were provided by Aurora Marine Design. Construction on the third and fourth vessels in the Dorado class is underway. A public naming process for those two ferries will begin soon.

Vessel construction was funded through the Federal Transit Administration and the State of California’s Proposition 1B in collaboration with the California Office of Emergency Services.

Several design modifications were made to MV Delphinus in response to passenger feedback. Vinyl siding has been added to a portion of the second deck to provide additional shelter, and heaters will be installed in that section soon. Improved bike racks are being fabricated and will be installed on MV Delphinus and MV Dorado soon.

SF Bay Ferry was the fastest growing transit operator in the region prior to the pandemic, with more than 3 million passengers in 2019. Under the agency’s Pandemic Recovery Program, which took effect in July 2021, ferry ridership has recovered 80% of pre-pandemic levels, one of the highest rates among regional transit operators. The Vallejo route boasts the highest ridership in the system, with more than 700,000 passengers over the past year. SF Bay Ferry has carried 2.3 million passengers overall in the past year.

MV Delphinus is the 13th U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 or Tier 4 equivalent vessel in the SF Bay Ferry fleet, which is the cleanest in the nation. In 2017, the agency commissioned the nation’s first Tier 4 equivalent high-speed passenger ferry, MV Hydrus. In 2019, SF Bay Ferry commissioned the nation’s first Tier 4 certified high-speed passenger ferry, MV Pyxis. In 2023, the agency completed its conversion of four 15-year-old ferries to Tier 4 propulsion, cutting diesel emissions by 80%.

San Francisco Bay Ferry is a regional public transit agency tasked with developing, operating and expanding ferry service on the San Francisco Bay and with coordinating the water transit response to regional emergencies. The agency operates ferry routes connecting the cities of Alameda, Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, South San Francisco and Vallejo.

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