Senate Bill 428 Establishes Bay Area Water Transit Authority

On October 10 Governor Gray Davis signed into law a bill creating the Bay Area Water Transit Authority. The new Authority is charged with preparing a detailed plan for expanding ferry services on the bay as a way to reduce congestion on the regionís roads. It is further empowered to build and operate the system once a plan is approved by the legislature.

Published: January 2000

On October 10 Governor Gray Davis signed into law a bill creating the Bay Area Water Transit Authority. The new Authority is charged with preparing a detailed plan for expanding ferry services on the bay as a way to reduce congestion on the region’s roads. It is further empowered to build and operate the system once a plan is approved by the legislature.

In signing the bill, Gov. Gray Davis noted the Bay Area is still suffering from the devastation to its transportation system caused by the Loma Prieta earthquake 10 years ago.

The San Francisco Bay Area Water Transit Authority established by this legislation has the potential to provide desperately needed alternatives for commuters and other travelers, and to restore what was once a proud Bay Area tradition, wrote the governor in a signing message.

The bill’s author, Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland, said the governor’s support means we’re on our way to having a world-class ferry system for a world-class region.

The ferry authority board will be made up of four members appointed by Davis, two by a Senate Committee, two by an Assembly Committee and three by community organizations in the Bay Area. Each member will serve an eight-year term.

The new agency was proposed by a blue ribbon task force, created by previous legislation, which concluded in April, 1999 that water transit is the most economically feasible and environmentally compatible investment in transportation that can significantly reduce and improve mobility in the Bay Area.

The Task Force has proposed a new ferry system with many new terminals throughout the bay and hundreds of miles of new commuter, recreational, airport and cargo water transit routes.