On June 15, San Francisco Bay Ferry nearly quadrupled its usual weekday ridership between San Francisco and the East Bay as it accommodated commuters affected by an unexpected BART shutdown.
Published: July, 2012
On June 15, San Francisco Bay Ferry nearly quadrupled its usual weekday ridership between San Francisco and the East Bay as it accommodated commuters affected by an unexpected BART shutdown. Ridership was 9,531—compared to approximately 2,500 passengers carried during a typical weekday—and departures were increased from the usual 25 round-trips to a total of 46.
An early morning three-alarm fire near the West Oakland BART station forced the closure of the tracks between the East Bay and San Francisco, leaving thousands of commuters scrambling to find a way into the City. To meet the unexpected demand, San Francisco Bay Ferry significantly enhanced capacity, deploying three additional ferries on the San Francisco-Oakland Jack London Square-Alameda Main Street run and adding a second ferry on the San Francisco to Harbor Bay Alameda route.
SF Bay Ferry’s newest service, between the East Bay and South San Francisco, remained at the usual five round trips, although passenger counts nearly doubled. In addition, SF Bay Ferry added an unscheduled run between AT&T Park and Oakland to accommodate Giants fans attending the game that day.
"Yesterday was an outstanding example of the importance of having a flexible, regional ferry transit system in place on San Francisco Bay," said Nina Rannells, Executive Director of the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), operator of the San Francisco Bay Ferry. "From the time we received notification of the BART shutdown early Thursday morning, we immediately took action to enhance ferry service for stranded commuters. As yesterday illustrated, a robust passenger ferry system plays a critical role in the event of a Bay Area transportation emergency."
San Francisco Bay Ferry serves the San Francisco Ferry Building and Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf, Harbor Bay and Main Street in Alameda, and Oakland (Jack London Square), with seasonal service to AT&T Park and Angel Island. SF Bay Ferry launched weekday commute service between the East Bay and South San Francisco on June 4, and will assume operation of the Vallejo Ferry on July 1. Working with community, civic and transit partners, WETA is actively evaluating the potential for future San Francisco Bay Ferry service to several other Bay Area locations, including Richmond, Berkeley, Treasure Island, Redwood City, Hercules, Martinez and Antioch.