December 04

On the cover
Hidive Restaurant, It’s Only a Step Away
MTC Trip Planner Unfriendly to Alameda’s Ferries
MTC Honors Excellence in Motion at 26th Awards Ceremony
Community Calendar
No Flu Shot? Could be No Worries, Mate!
Cool Places to Shop on the Eastern Waterfront
Places to Shop for the Holidays
Bay Crossings Cuisine: Neptune’s
Let Your Light Shine on Angel Island
Vallejo Ferry Chief Fired, Resigned or What?
Help Save the Palace
Holidays at the Exploratorium
U.S. Coast Guard Honors BoatU.S. Emergency Beacon Rental Program
WTA Pages: Making Cents for Ferries
Libations: Christmas,
South American Style







Making Cents for Ferries:

Half-cent Sales Tax Measures Add Up to $75 million for Ferry Service to San Mateo and Contra Costa Counties

Passage of Measure A in San Mateo County Will Make South San Francisco Home to the Newest Ferry Route in the Bay Area (photo courtesy Bob Ecker)

Four counties around the Bay Area region considered sales tax measures for transit on their November 2004 ballots, including Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, and Solano. These measures, requiring a 2/3 vote for passage, passed in all but Solano County. Successful passage of the measures in San Mateo and Contra Costa Counties means a big victory for proponents of ferry service. Both measures officially kick into place in 2009, when the current sales taxes expire, and extend for 25 years. Early passage of the measures allows counties to bond against the future revenue to get projects started sooner.

San Mateo County: The Region’s First New Ferry Line
Measure A, San Mateo County’s half-cent sales tax measure, is expected to raise $1.5 billion to fund transportation projects within the county. The measure passed by a whopping 75%, far exceeding the 2/3 support required for reauthorization. The San Mateo County sales tax measure was first enacted in 1988 with 62% of the vote–back when a majority was sufficient to pass a sales tax measure.

Richmond Mayor Irma Anderson (l) and Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia: Counting the hours until Richmond has Ferry Service

“The passage of Measure A ensures San Mateo County can continue to address mobility issues throughout the county,” said Steve Castleberry, CEO of the San Francisco Bay Area Water Transit Authority (WTA). “Along with the funding we’ve already secured, this final amount will allow us to connect South San Francisco directly to the East Bay via ferry service. We look forward to working with the San Mateo County Transportation Authority in determining the best way to use the money to deliver this service.” Measure A allocated $30 million for San Mateo ferry service over the measure’s 25-year life span.

Castleberry explained that the financial plan for the WTA’s newest ferry service, running between South San Francisco and a location in the East Bay, comprises a variety of funding

Oracle employees look forward to San Mateo County Ferry Service reaching Redwood City

sources. Regional Measure 2 (RM2), the $1 bridge toll increase for regional transportation projects, funds the lion’s share of SSF’s new ferry service. Specifically, RM2 will contribute $12 million to buy two new vessels, and $3 million in annual operating costs for a total of almost $226 million. Additional funding identified for SSF ferry service includes federal dollars, such as the $1 million for vessel construction secured by U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA); transit impact fees; and, of course, fare box revenue. Rep. Lantos is seeking $6 million for construction of the South San Francisco terminal.

Peninsula resident Jim Bigelow, who is also a member of the Water Transit Advocates for San Mateo County and a longtime

South San Francisco ferry service will deliver employees who live in the East Bay to SSF employers aong the Shoreline (photo courtesy Bob Ecker)

advocate for transportation improvements, said that the Measure A victory could be attributed to an extensive process in educating the public and building coalitions. “It’s been very tiring the last two years. But everything worked well. I’m very pleased,” he said.

Passage of Measure J Brings Contra Costa County One Step Closer to Ferry Service
Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, who championed Measure J’s inclusion of $45 million for ferries as part of Contra Costa County’s transportation improvement efforts, said, “As Contra Costa grows, its residents want to preserve their quality of life by having transportation options that allow them to leave

Hercules’ Waterfront Smart Growth Plans Included Adding Alternative Transit Options Such as Ferries and Amtrak

their cars at home but still easily reach other parts of the Bay Area. We’ve prioritized ferries because of development happening along shorelines such as Richmond’s. With the technical support of the WTA, we expect to make water transit a success story for Contra Costa County.”

Contra Costa’s successfully passed sales tax measure, Measure J, is expected to raise $2 billion over 25 years for transportation projects throughout the county. Like San Mateo County, Contra Costa’s measure handily won approval from more than 2/3 of voters, with 70% support. Richmond and Hercules ferry services are expected to benefit from the set-aside for ferries. Additionally, Richmond received $1 million for planning from Regional Measure 2; the WTA hopes to bridge the funding gap for Contra Costa using Federal Ferryboat Discretionary Funds, transit impact fees, and farebox revenues.

Richmond’s Residential Shoreline Development Makes it Ideally Suited to Ferry Service

Assuming funding, environmental and other regulatory clearance, and continued local support for the project, Richmond ferries could launch as early as 2009, with Hercules in hot pursuit.