Red & White Fleet Offers to
Operate Alameda Oakland Ferry
In yet another twist to this
ferry tale, San Francisco’s other daily tour boat operator
offered to take over the contract more or less “as is” with
the city of Alameda. In a series of letters to both acting Mayor
Al Dewitt and the Manager of Ferry Services, Red & White Fleet
President Thomas C. Escher offered to explore ways to save between
$50,000 and $100,000 under the existing contract.
However, apparently a scheduled
meeting with the ferry manager was inexplicably cancelled by the
city. While Red & White Fleet does not have backup vessels
sufficiently fast to operate the current schedule, they do have a
fleet of three dependable tour vessels. In the beginning of Blue
& Gold’s operation and continuing for almost five years, the
Alameda Oakland Ferry saw passenger growth each year with a
service that consisted of only three slow tour boats, and one
relatively unreliable high-speed vessel.
So, it is apparently a question
of planning and intelligently applying resources to the operation.
At this time, however, Alameda owns two high-speed vessels
assigned to the Alameda Oakland run and also two others assigned
to the Harbor Bay run. The second Harbor Bay vessel, the poorly
named HARBOR BAY EXPRESS II ALAMEDA, is due out of the repair shop
and could conceivably be used as a back up by both services.
If so, then the back up by tour
vessels would only be needed in an unusual event, where all three
high speed vessels would be out of service at the same time. In
any event, it now appears that if there is no agreement with Blue
& Gold, another operator is waiting in the wings. All of this
is good news for the beleaguered riders of the Alameda Oakland