Bay Ferry 2050 is moving full speed ahead towards a vibrant future for water-based transportation. As we do so, your voice is an important part of this process to develop a shared vision of the San Francisco Bay Area ferry system in 2050. 
What do you want it to look like? Add your voice today by participating in our quick priorities poll, sign up for project notifications, and share the poll with your friends and network. Thanks for your participation and helping us gather input from a wide set of riders, supporters, and community members!

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to check out our website for more information on the project and a special message from WETA Executive Director Seamus Murphy.

Welcome back to Dock-tionary, where we help ferry fans learn how to speak boat. This month, we’re here to tell you about slow bells. This is an important term for marine vessels when traveling through bodies of water and can be experienced when onboard a handful of our ferry routes.

A slow bell is an action utilized for vessel safety when operating in close proximity to other vessels or in the water. This action is used primarily for commercial vessels when passing by each other as well as to reduce any wakes that may occur from a vessel moving through the water. The name “slow bell” is derived from the original action of striking a bell in order to tell a vessel to reduce speed. Currently, with state-of-the-art vessels operating in all types of locations, these bells have been replaced with an electronic buzz or ringing in the pilot house to acknowledge this type of maneuvering.

Slow bells are critical to safe ferry operations because this action helps to guarantee the safe and efficient operation of ferries when passing one another. Captains will also utilize a slow bell as professional courtesy and respect during a crossing. The next time you are onboard a ferry, see if you can tell when slow bells are being used as you pass other ferries or ships on the Bay.

Have you started your fleet card collection yet?

These collectable fleet cards have proven to be a hit with passengers and crew alike! Each ferry in the fleet has their own vessel card ready to be collected when onboard. These handy cards can tell you a lot about the vessel you are riding including naming inspiration, amenities, speed, propulsion type and more.

Cards are typically available at the bar or near the ticket counter. Next time you’re on board, make sure to pick up a card to add to your collection. And see if you can track down a rare fleet card for one of our favorite retired ferries, MV Vallejo.

Effective Monday, August 15, Vallejo passengers that don’t use Clipper or the new San Francisco Bay Ferry mobile app will purchase paper tickets onboard instead of at the Vallejo Ferry Ticket Office. The Ticket Office will be permanently closed, but there will be no impact to Vallejo ferry service.

Guest assistance representatives will continue to be available at the Vallejo terminal during peak hours to answer questions, help with ticket purchases, and manage queues. Closure of the ticket office in Vallejo will allow San Francisco Bay Ferry to increase staffing levels at the system’s other busy terminals including Downtown San Francisco.

For Clipper users, from August 14, Clipper transactions can be completed at the Vallejo Transit Center (two blocks from the ferry terminal) or at Bay Crossings in the San Francisco Ferry Building.

We have been working to mitigate the upcoming effects of this closure with the recent Vallejo disembarkation changes, San Francisco Bay Ferry app launch, and the recent upgrade of our ticketing system. As we continue our efforts to educate riders about these ferry upgrades and the ticket office closure, we will continue to be available to answer questions via our social media channels and customer service portal on our website.

Please note again that the Vallejo Ticket Office Closure will not affect ferry operations or the schedule for the Vallejo route.

Riding the ferry with e-bikes just got a lot easier for ferry riders in Richmond!

E-bike rebates between $150-$500 are now available for eligible residents of Contra Costa County through 511 Contra Costa’s Electric Bike Rebate Program. E-bikes are fun, fast, and easy to ride. The electric motor makes going up hills a breeze and are perfect for any leg of your journey.

E-bikes are welcome onboard any San Francisco Bay Ferry route, provided they fit in the racks provided. 

When bringing your e-bike onboard the ferry, please stow the bike in the designated bike storage area onboard. Per U.S. Coast Guard regulations, e-bikes cannot be plugged in to charge on board the ferry.

Using an e-bike when riding the ferry will help you save money on gas, avoid traffic, and enjoy the Bay views as your cross the water. Visit 511 Contra Costa to learn more and apply for your rebate.

Why is San Francisco Bay Ferry the best way to cross the bay?
After a long day of work, I can relax and enjoy the views. It’s clean and fast as well.

What is your favorite ferry memory?
Once, on the crossing, we got to wave to a kite surfer!

How would you describe the atmosphere on the ferry?
Laid back, clean, and spacious.

Describe San Francisco Bay Ferry in one word.

Riders can now show their love for riding the ferry in more ways and styles. Check out The Aft Deck and grab some ferry swag today!