The numbers are in: San Francisco Bay Ferry carried more than twice as many passengers in 2022 than in the prior year.

Some 1.7 million passengers rode the ferry system in 2022, compared to 750,000 passengers in 2021. The uptick in ridership across the system reflects a continued surge in weekend ridership and a gradual, but consistent increase in weekday riders, as more commuters returned to worksites.

Peak morning ridership – trips arriving in San Francisco or South San Francisco no later than 9:30 AM – more than doubled in the second half of 2022 compared with the same months of 2021. Weekend ridership over the course of 2022 was 90% of pre-pandemic levels.

That said, overall ferry ridership remains substantially below pre-pandemic levels. While average daily ridership on the ferry system reached as high as 77% of pre-pandemic levels in June 2022, overall for the calendar year 2022 daily ridership was 61% of February 2020 daily ridership. Because San Francisco Bay Ferry relies so heavily on fare revenues to fund its operation, this lost income has created significant budget issues for the agency.

Since early 2020, WETA has been able to sustain and improve ferry service thanks to much-needed federal relief funding. Funding secured through three separate relief packages allowed WETA to implement the Pandemic Recovery Program, which enhanced service across the system, and lowered fares to incentivize ridership returns. The program has worked, but like other California transit systems around the state, as the federal relief funding is exhausted, WETA is calling on the State to provide urgently-needed temporary funding to preserve jobs and avoid service cuts.

Pippin Dew joined the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) Board of Directors this month after being appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Ms. Dew replaces Anthony Intintoli on the Board of Directors. Ms. Dew, a Realtor, served on the Vallejo City Council from 2014 through 2022. She is currently President of Vallejo Main Street, President Elect of the Solano Association of Realtors, and serves on the Executive Board for the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce as their Government Affairs Committee Chair.
“Ferry service has always been such an integral part of the Vallejo community and the expansion of the system has brought those same benefits to residents and businesses throughout the region,” said Director Dew. “I’m looking forward to furthering that progress, and working with my colleagues to help the system evolve as our regional transportation needs continue to adapt to changing travel patterns.”

Ms. Dew joins Chair Jim Wunderman, Vice Chair Monique Moyer, Director Jessica Alba and Director Jeff DelBono on the WETA Board. The agency is responsible for operating, developing and expanding San Francisco Bay Ferry.


We want your help recognizing the very best crew members San Francisco Bay Ferry has to offer.

WETA, the agency that provides San Francisco Bay Ferry service, is seeking nominations for its first-ever San Francisco Bay Ferry Crew of the Year. A selection of ferry captains, deckhands, engineers, and other staff who make the ferry system great will be recognized at a future WETA Board meeting.

Passenger recommendations will play a major role in the selection process. Submit your nomination via this form. Drop boxes for written nominations will be available on the vessels soon, as well.

The 2022 Crew of the Year will be announced in February.

Welcome back to Dock-tionary, where we help ferry fans learn how to speak boat. This month, we’re discussing knots and why this term is still used for maritime operations, including ferries.

Starting in the 17th century, the term knots had begun to be used to determine the speed of a vessel traveling through a body of water. The name ‘knot’ comes from the process of throwing a log into the water which was tied to a knotted rope. After half a minute, a vessel’s speed was determined by the number of knots in the rope that had passed by as the log floated by the vessel.

Fast forward to today, the knot is still used as the main measure of speed for a maritime vessel, however this unit of measurement is now tied into the global latitude and longitude coordinate system which makes this an even more useful form of measuring speed. One knot is approximately equal to 1.15 miles per hour.

Vessels in our fleet average a speed of 28 knots per hour with our fastest vessel being the MV Dorado at 36 knots, the equivalent of 41 miles per hour. That’s definitely faster than I-80 at rush hour!

If you are transferring between ferries and Muni Metro at the Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal, the SFMTA has introduced a new alignment for the T-Third train line which now runs along 4th Street and through the Central Subway with stations at Market Street/Union Square Station and Chinatown's Rose Pak Station. A direct transfer is now available between the T-Third and all other Muni Metro lines at Powell St./Union Square Station.

Once baseball season starts back up, ferry riders connecting to Muni Metro to get to Oracle Park will need to take the N-Judah from Folsom at Embarcadero as the T-Third will no longer run along the Embarcadero. Riders heading from the Ferry Building to Chase Center will need to take any eastbound train from Embarcadero Station and transfer to the T-Third Line at Powell St./Union Square Stations. 

If you are riding direct gameday special event ferries to the Oracle Park Terminal or Chase Center (Pier 48.5) Terminal, this change will not affect your itinerary. Learn more about using the ferry and Muni Metro to get to ballgame.

What is your favorite ferry memory?
Riding the Vallejo ferry with my brother and sister-in-law when they were where visiting.

How would you describe the atmosphere on the ferry?
Fun and relaxed.

What is your favorite ferry amenity?
Concessions and the views!

Describe San Francisco Bay Ferry in one word.