Thanks to federal pandemic relief funding, the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) Board of Directors on Thursday approved an extension of lower San Francisco Bay Ferry fares for up to a year.
That means current fares on all routes will remain in effect beyond June 30, 2022, when they were originally scheduled to expire.
“The strong growth in ferry ridership over the last 10 months is proof that our recovery strategy is working,” said Jim Wunderman, Chair of the WETA Board of Directors. “With companies welcoming employees back to the office and soaring gas prices making travel more expensive, this is a critical time for us to maximize the availability and accessibility of our service for Bay Area travelers, and affordability is an essential part of that.”
Since the start of WETA’s Pandemic Recovery Program in July 2021, San Francisco Bay Ferry has experienced strong ridership recovery, especially on weekends and during off-peak hours. But over the last month, the system’s biggest ridership gains have come from weekday commute service, as local COVID-19 case levels have ebbed and more worksites have begun welcoming non-essential employees back without restriction.
In March 2022, overall ridership on San Francisco Bay Ferry reached 53% of pre-pandemic seasonal average, with weekend ridership exceeding 95% of pre-pandemic averages.