This is the Winter 2019/20 issue of Full Speed Ahead, San Francisco Bay Ferry's quarterly newsletter. You can sign up for email notifications of new issues or pick up a copy onboard the ferry.
Published: December 23, 2019 | Download a PDF version
Hydrus, Scorpio Get Out of the Water at Local Dry Docks
Two ferries spent part of the fall out of the water in local dry docks.
Hydrus had its brief annual dry dock refurbishment at Lind Marine on Mare Island using a historic graving dry dock at the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard. With this old-school style of getting the boat out of water, the vessel is pulled into a full dry dock, a caisson is put into place to seal the dock, water is pumped out and the vessel drops slowly onto carefully positioned blocks. Divers ensure proper alignment and biological monitors are on hand through the process to ensure environmental protection related to fish are working properly.
WETA pulls each vessel out of the water once a year to handle routine maintenance and repairs that are easier in dry circumstances. This proactive maintenance helps extends the life of the ferries and keeps service reliable for our passengers.
Scorpio experienced a different type of dry dock at Bay Ship and Yacht in Alameda. Bay Ship utilizes a syncrolift to dry dock WETA’s vessels. The vessel is maneuvered over a submerged cradle, which is then lifted by a set of synchronized winches. The vessel can be worked upon in place, or it can be moved inland so the syncrolift can be freed for other use.
Scorpio was out of the water long than Hydrus, undergoing its quarter-life refurbishment after eight years in service on the South San Francisco and other routes. This project included engine replacements, propeller and rudder refurbishment, systems upgrades, new passenger seating, the addition of video screens and fresh paint and sealant everywhere.
In 2000, Alameda County voters approved Measure B, the half-cent transportation sales tax. In 2014, Measure BB was passed by voters authorizing the collection of an additional half-cent transportation sales tax. Measure B/BB funds have provided essential funding for WETA ferry services that serve Alameda County residents including the Alameda/Oakland, Harbor Bay and South San Francisco routes.
This year, $600,000 of Measure BB funding went toward the Scorpio refurbishment project. This funding is integral to the growing San Francisco Bay Ferry system. More information on Measures B and BB is available at https://www.alamedactc.org/.
Chase Center ferry service in full swing
San Francisco Bay Ferry service to Chase Center got off to a great start in October, and will continue throughout the winter for all Golden State Warriors home games and most major concerts.
Pregame and postgame service connecting Alameda and Oakland and a ferry landing at Pier 48 in Mission Bay is available for every Warriors game, with the exception of the Christmas Day game on December 25. Service will be made available to most major concerts and special events as well. Tickets are $9.60 each way for adults with discounts for children, seniors and disabled passengers. We encourage fans to buy tickets online via bit.ly/ChaseFerry, though walk-up tickets are usually available as well (cash/credit only – no Clipper or Hopthru).
In response to customer feedback, we made a change to post-event service. Ferries now leave Pier 48 exactly 30 minutes after the end of the game or event, but no later than 11:45 p.m.
15,000 passengers ride summer Richmond weekend pilot
San Francisco Bay Ferry concluded its three-month pilot of summer weekend Richmond ferry service in November. Some 15,000 passengers rode the ferry during the pilot, averaging roughly 1,100 boardings per weekend with a high of 1,800 during Fleet Week.
WETA is analyzing the ridership data and exploring funding opportunities with hopes of offering summer weekend Richmond service again next year. Weekend service remains available on the Alameda/Oakland and Vallejo routes, albeit with a reduced winter schedule currently in place.
For many passengers, riding the ferry is more than just a commute. It's a place to unwind, take in the views, connect with colleagues, and catch up on work. To capture these stories, the San Francisco Bay Ferry marketing team recently sat down with five passengers who shared their unique ferry experiences. The interviews are part of a larger video project that will be unveiled early next year.
Susannah has been commuting by ferry for two years, however her parents were frequent riders and she often rode with them growing up. Here is a sneak peek and behind-the-scenes look at Susannah's on-screen interview.
Why is San Francisco Bay Ferry the best way to cross the Bay?
I love the views and hanging out with my friends and family who share the commute. It's also amazing to see tourists taking pictures of the scenery. We truly have the best commute in the world.
Describe San Francisco Bay Ferry in one word.