As you’ve probably noticed onboard, ridership across all San Francisco Bay Ferry routes continues to grow.

In July we set a new post-2020 high in terms of total ridership at 237,000 passengers, eclipsing the 215,000 passengers from June. Since the wild storms of March, San Francisco Bay Ferry has averaged 74% ridership recovery compared to 2019, which had been the system’s high-water mark. This recovery remains well ahead of comparable regional transit operators.

WETA, the agency that provides San Francisco Bay Ferry service, remains committed to rebuilding ridership through improving service, maintaining the best transit rider satisfaction rating in the country, and marketing to new audiences … especially drivers who could swap their gridlock for a boat ride.

Of course, with more riders comes friction. Here are a few reminders on how to responsibly ride on a busy ferry.

  • Put your bags at your feet, not on a seat.
  • No holding places or “cutting” in line when preparing to board the ferry.
  • Every ferry has designated seats and areas for disabled, elderly and pregnant passengers. If someone in one of these groups need the space and you’re in it, please relocate.
  • Bring earbuds or headphones if you’ll be listening to music, watching a video or participating in a virtual meeting.
  • No outside alcohol can be consumed or opened onboard. All alcoholic beverages consumed onboard must be purchased onboard. (Outside food and non-alcoholic beverages are OK, just clean up after yourself.)

New to the ferry? Check out our Rider Guide. Our deckhands are always happy to answer questions, too.


Just a reminder: our ticketing flow has recently changed.

On August 10, we switched the process for fare validation for ferry passengers. Now all passengers should be prepared to tag Clipper or present a paper or mobile ticket when boarding the ferry. Passengers without a ticket when arriving at the ferry terminal will need to wait in a second line onboard to buy a ticket.

We strongly encourage all passengers to use Clipper or the San Francisco Bay Ferry app to pay their fares.

Here’s how fare validation works depending on what fare media you’re using:

For Clipper users:

Nothing has changed: passengers continue tag on when boarding the ferry and tag off when exiting.

For SF Bay Ferry app users:

Passengers with mobile tickets from the San Francisco Bay Ferry app should activate their tickets when queued up and show it to the deckhand at the gate.

For paper ticket holders:

If you have a paper ticket, hand it to the deckhand at the gate.

Passengers without tickets:

If you arrive at the terminal without a Clipper card or ticket and cannot purchase one in the San Francisco Bay Ferry app, our deckhands will take your name and party size and hand you a ticket slip. After the ferry departs, you’ll visit the ticket counter on board to purchase your tickets.

Disembarkation for all passengers:

When the ferry arrives at its destination, passengers can disembark in an orderly fashion without any further ticket checks. Clipper users will still need to tag off to ensure they are charged the correct fare. (If you only tag on, Clipper assumes you’re riding our highest-fare route, which is currently Vallejo at $9.30.) This will speed up disembarkation, allowing you to get where you need to go more quickly.

Feedback on the new system is welcome at [email protected].


Beginning on August 29, riders departing from Vallejo will use a temporary terminal as dredging in the ferry basin starts.

The temporary terminal, which will be installed in the week prior to dredging, is within a few hundred feet of the permanent Vallejo Ferry Terminal. Passengers can use the same transit connections and parking lots as usual, and the ferry schedule will not change.

After installation of the temporary terminal – which is usually at Pier 48.5 for Chase Center ferry service – the existing Vallejo float and ramping system will be disconnected and removed to make way for dredging equipment and barge. Dredging involves pulling out accumulated silt to ensure the basin is deep enough for ferries to operate during low tides.

The project will take about a month to complete.

The rate of siltation in the Napa River, which feeds Mare Island Strait, has drastically increased in the last decade resulting in an increased dredging frequency. WETA last dredged the basin in the fall of 2021.

WETA is currently in the planning and outreach stages of the Vallejo Ferry Terminal Reconfiguration Project. Look for a story on this important project in September’s issue of Full Speed Ahead.


San Francisco Bay Ferry is thrilled to be joining San Francisco Transit Riders (SFTR) and Seamless Bay Area in various activities for Transit Month in September, celebrating our city and region’s public transit that we all know and ride. 

The whole month is full of exciting and interactive events for you and your family to attend. See all the events here. Stay tuned for news about an exciting ferry event in September.


How has daily life changed, in terms of getting around, and where you work and live? What has gotten better, and where is there still room for improvement? What are your concerns for the environment and the economy?

Staff from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments need your input on how life in the Bay Area has changed as the region emerges from the pandemic. We encourage ferry riders to participate in the survey to make sure their interests are considered in major upcoming planning efforts, including Plan Bay Area 2050+ and Transit 2050+, which will produce a first-of-its-kind plan to re-envision the future of the public transit network in the nine-county Bay Area.

Take the survey before September 7 to be heard.


Weekday afternoon ferry service is now complimented by a new 6:30 PM bus trip to Vallejo and Fairfield on Soltrans Route 82 from the Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal.

This new bus trip departs from the San Francisco Ferry Building and makes stops at the Curtola Park & Ride, Vallejo Transit Center with continued service to the Fairfield Transportation Center. The trip time between the Downtown S.F. Ferry Terminal and the Vallejo Transit Center takes approximately 64 minutes.

This bus trip for Vallejo bound riders on weekday afternoons gives commuters an additional trip option between the 6 PM and 7:45 PM ferry departures. Fares for Soltrans Route 82 are $6.00 one-way for adults, $5 for youth and $3 for reduced fares. Clipper is accepted.  

To learn more about Route 82, visit the Soltrans website.


Welcome back to Dock-tionary, where we help ferry fans learn how to speak boat. This month, we’re shining a light on our amazing dispatch team who works to keep our ferry network running smoothly.

At our operations and maintenance facility in Alameda, our team of highly skilled individuals works to coordinate and assign vessels to specific trips or ‘blocks’ each morning before crews arrive. Assigning vessels to their trips or ‘blocks’ involves closely monitoring vessel operational information, weather conditions and vessel availability to ensure that the ferry system runs on time and in strict accordance with the published schedule of each route.

Throughout the day the dispatch team keeps track of various factors, such as vessel and crew availability, special events in the area and potential disruptions to service. Based on this information, they carefully manage vessel movements in the Bay to make sure service continues to run smoothly. Throughout the day, they remain in constant communication with ferry captains, monitoring real-time conditions and adjusting service if needed – all with the objective of adhering to the published schedule of each SF Bay Ferry route. If there are unexpected delays or changes, the dispatchers quickly act to make sure all messaging in Rider Alerts and on terminal signs accurately reflect the service being provided.

From working to make sure vessels are operating smoothly to coordinating rider information during high-pressure situations, our dispatchers really can do it all!   


Why is SF Bay Ferry the best way to cross the bay?

It’s calm, it’s a good price, it’s quick, and the views are unmatched.

What is your favorite ferry memory?

In 2022, for Clean Air Day, SF Bay Ferry was free. I used the ferry as a floating office for the day, exploring all the terminals and routes while getting in some good focus time with great views. I got to see each city from a new perspective and go to some absolutely wonderful parts of the Bay I’d never been to before.

How would you describe the atmosphere on the ferry?

Peaceful and beautiful!

What is your favorite ferry amenity?

The concession stand.

Describe San Francisco Bay Ferry in one word.


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