Woodstock, the ferry on the Oakland Alameda Water Shuttle

Oakland Alameda Water Shuttle to Launch July 17

Oakland Alameda Water Shuttle logoALAMEDA | JULY 2, 2024 – Today, the City of Alameda, the Alameda Transportation Management Association (ATMA), Port of Oakland, and San Francisco (SF) Bay Ferry announced that the new Oakland Alameda Water Shuttle (OAWS) pilot service will launch Wednesday morning, July 17.

The OAWS, named Woodstock, will carry people across the Oakland Estuary, Wednesday through Sunday, for the next two years. It will offer 37 trips per day that take under 10 minutes. The ferry is free to ride. Bicycles are welcome.

“This pilot program is a public-private partnership designed to help people move easily and sustainably between Alameda and Oakland without driving. Bicyclists and pedestrians can also hop on the shuttle, rather than traveling through the Tube,” stated Alameda Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft. “I’m delighted that the Woodstock will be run by SF Bay Ferry which currently operates transbay ferries connecting Oakland and Alameda to destinations in San Francisco and the Peninsula.”

“San Francisco Bay Ferry is very proud to be adding this new service to our network,” said Jim Wunderman, Chair of SF Bay Ferry’s Board of Directors. “This is a great example of communities and partners working together to connect growing job and population centers with new services that will get travelers out of their cars and onto public transit. I look forward to partnering on more pilot services like this in the coming years.”

The water shuttle, a 45-foot yellow pontoon vessel named Woodstock, will operate between public docks at Bohol Circle Immigrant Park, at the foot of 5th Street in Alameda and the foot of Broadway in Oakland’s Jack London Square. The Alameda dock is close to grocery stores and shopping at Alameda Landing, plus parks and new housing. The Oakland dock is in the heart of Jack London Square, one of the East Bay’s premier shopping and dining destinations, also with housing.

“We are thrilled to find a means to create a pleasant linkage for pedestrians and bicyclists between Oakland and Alameda’s west end,” stated Mike O’Hara, ATMA Board Chair. “This gap has existed for far too long, and we very much appreciate the commitment of our funding partners, the City of Alameda, and SF Bay Ferry to make this shuttle come to life!”

“We are pleased to partner on this new free transit service that connects the Alameda and Oakland waterfronts and allows for enhanced visitor access to Jack London Square,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan. “This is a great initiative that will help take vehicles off local roadways and benefit residents in Alameda and Oakland.”

A new limited liability corporation, Big Yellow Boat, purchased MV Woodstock from a tour boat operator in Buffalo, New York, before trucking her cross-country to Svendsen’s Bay Marine boatyard in Richmond for initial maintenance and repairs. SF Bay Ferry staff, in consultation with the City of Alameda and ATMA, designed modifications to allow MV Woodstock to comfortably accommodate bikes and people in wheelchairs. The modifications were made by Romero’s Welding in Vallejo.

The first ride on the OAWS is planned to depart the Oakland dock at 7:00 AM on Wednesday, July 17. The full-service schedule is available at www.watershuttle.org and www.alamedaca.gov/watershuttle.  

The OAWS pilot is funded with $1 million in grant funding from the Alameda County Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and over $1.7 million from the ATMA, West Alameda Transportation Demand Management Association, Port of Oakland, Jack London Improvement District, and the City of Alameda.

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