Rider Guide

Quick Start Guide

So you want to ride the San Francisco Bay Ferry? Here’s what you should know.

Need a little more info? Click the banners below to expand those sections.

Routes and Schedules imageRoutes & Schedules

  • We offer ferry service with routes connecting San Francisco to Oakland, Alameda, Harbor Bay and Vallejo and a route connecting South San Francisco to Alameda and Oakland
  • All routes offer weekday commute service
  • Alameda/Oakland and Vallejo service also provide midday, evening and weekend departures
  • Direct service to Oracle Park from Alameda, Oakland and Vallejo is available for Giants games

How long does the ferry take?

It depends on the route. Check our schedules for route-specific info.

Are ferries usually on time?

Yes! Please note that the schedules indicate departure times.  We recommend that you arrive at the terminal at least five minutes prior to the scheduled departure in order to board. We offer the free BayAlerts service that sends text, email, voice or TTY notifications for those infrequent occasions when ferries are delayed.

Do ferries run on holidays?

There is no ferry service system-wide on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day. Other holidays vary by route. Check our Media Center for holiday schedules.

Are you running Oracle Park service for [insert concert or special event]?

We typically do not run Oracle Park service other than for Giants baseball games. If we do, this will be promoted in our Media Center, on our social media channels and through BayAlerts.

Do you run service to Angel Island, Alcatraz or Marin County?

No. Private operators serve Angel Island and Alcatraz. Golden Gate Ferry operates public ferry service between San Francisco and Marin County (Sausalito, Larkspur and Tiburon).

Is the Pier 41 terminal near Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf?

Yes, the terminal is one block from Pier 39 and three blocks from Fisherman’s Wharf.

Tickets and Payment imageTickets & Payment

  • We have three ways to pay for regular ferry service
  • You cannot reserve spots on our regular service – boarding is first come, first served
  • Oracle Park service ticketing is different and allows online reservations

Can I reserve a spot on a departure?

As a public transit provider, we do not reserve seats, and boarding our vessels is first come, first served. Reservations are only available for direct Oracle Park service.

Do you have youth, senior or disabled discounts?

Yes. See our Fares & Tickets page for details. Children under the age of 5 years old ride for free with a paying adult.

What’s Clipper Card and why should I use it on the ferry?

Clipper Card is the Bay Area’s all-in-one transit payment solution and using Clipper offers customers a significant fare discount. You load value on the card which you can then use on 23 different transit agencies in the Bay Area, including San Francisco Bay Ferry. See more info and learn how to use Clipper on the ferry.

Can I buy ferry tickets through an app?

Yes. Hopthru is our mobile ticketing app partner. It allows our riders who don’t have a Clipper Card to pay for ferry tickets on their phone and board easily. The Clipper discount is not available for passengers using Hopthru. See more info and learn how to use Hopthru on the ferry.

Where can I get paper tickets?

Our Fares & Tickets page has info on where to purchase paper tickets.

Do you offer monthly passes or frequent rider discounts?

We do offer a monthly pass that allows unlimited use on the Vallejo route only. We do not offer monthly passes or frequent rider discounts on any other routes.

Conduct and Courtesy imagePassenger Conduct & Courtesy

Respecting your fellow passengers will help to ensure everyone enjoys a safe, pleasant trip. Here are the basics from our Passenger Code of Conduct:

  • No smoking or vaping allowed on board or within 25 feet of a terminal
  • Pets other than service animals must be non-disruptive and in a completely enclosed cage or carrying case that fits on the passenger’s lap (see our full pet policy in the Passenger Code of Conduct)
  • No weapons, firearms or explosive materials allowed on board or at terminal
  • Children under age 13 must be accompanied by adult
  • School groups must have at least one adult chaperone per four children
  • Occupy one seat only
  • No disruptive or aggressive behavior
  • No panhandling, soliciting or selling
  • No cutting or saving spots in line

See our full Passenger Code of Conduct.

Amenities imageFerry Amenities & Info

Is there Wi-Fi on board?

San Francisco Bay Ferry offers free Wi-Fi access on board all vessels. However, keep in mind that bandwidth is limited and there are network dead spots in various parts of the Bay. We encourage you to save work offline during your ferry ride.

Are the ferries ADA compliant?

Absolutely. All vessels are wheelchair accessible and are equipped with a wheelchair accessible restroom. Staff is available to provide assistance to passengers as they board. See more information on our ferry accessibility page.

There’s a snack bar?

Yes! Snacks and beverages are available on all departures.

Tell me about your boats.

We currently operate 15 vessels with four more on the way and plans to build even more. Learn more about our fleet.

Bikes, Transit and Parking imageBikes, Transit & Parking

Are bicycles allowed on board?

Yes, each vessel has bike racks. Space may be limited on some departures, so be sure to arrive early. We also offer secure bike lockers at many terminals. See our Terminals page for details. All bikes, including folding bikes, should be stowed in the bike rack area on the aft deck. Ask crew members for assistance if necessary.

What about electric bicycles and scooters?

Yes, these are also allowed. If you have an unusual or large bike or scooter, please check with us first. Motorized scooters and board and folding bikes should be stowed in the bike rack area on the aft deck. Ask crew members for assistance if necessary. Due to safety rules, you cannot charge any e-bike or motorized device on board the ferry.

What about gasoline-powered bikes, scooters or mopeds?

Absolutely no gas-powered vehicles are allowed on board per U.S. Coast Guard regulations.

Can I get to ferry terminals via transit?

Yes! See our Terminals page to find connecting transit information.

Do you offer transfer discounts?

AC Transit and MUNI riders can benefit from transfer discounts when using the Clipper Card. See our Fares & Tickets page for this information.

Is there free parking at ferry terminals?

Limited free parking is available at certain terminals. Other terminals have only paid parking. See our Terminals page for details.

Does ferry parking fill up?

It depends on the terminal. See our Terminals page for details.  As with boarding the ferry, parking is first come, first served.

I’m spending the night in San Francisco. Is overnight parking available at ferry terminals?

Overnight parking is only permitted at the paid, city-run lots near the Vallejo Ferry Terminal.

Lost and Found imageLost & Found

Please be sure to collect your belongings before you leave the ferry at the end of your ride. We are not responsible for misplaced items.

If you have lost an item aboard the ferry or at a ferry terminal, please call the following numbers.

For Vallejo service: (707) 643-3779

All other routes and terminals: (415) 705-8205