PROPOSAL FOR TEMPORARY LOWER FARES, EXPANDED FERRY SCHEDULES RELEASED
Guided by its 13 core principles to rebuild ferry service and ridership during the Bay Area’s pandemic recovery, WETA is considering major San Francisco Bay Ferry fare and service changes.
 
The WETA Board of Directors is anticipated to consider these changes at its April 1, 2021 meeting. WETA is seeking feedback from passengers and the public to help inform this decision.
 
In short, the proposed Pandemic Recovery Program:

  •  Lowers fares across all transbay routes for a period of one year
  • Adds more off-peak trips to expand service options
  • Simplifies the fare structure and fare payment options

As proposed, the changes would go into effect beginning in July 2021. Detailed information on the proposed Pandemic Recovery Program is available at sanfranciscobayferry.com/recovery.
 
WETA will hold a virtual open house on the proposal on Tuesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. You can share feedback and ask questions at that open house. You can also provide feedback to WETA by emailing recovery@sanfranciscobayferry.com or sending a letter by March 25.
BERKELEY FERRY STUDY PROGRESSES
Studies to gauge the feasibility of new ferry service in Berkeley continue. The City of Berkeley and WETA have launched the public input process, which will continue through 2021. Both the Berkeley City Council and WETA Board of Directors recently hosted presentations on the progress of the studies and outreach. You can find that presentation and additional information on the City’s ferry/pier study webpage.
 
The project partners are currently seeking public feedback on plans and ideas for the Berkeley Marina, including potential ferry service. You can take a brief survey by March 12 to be heard. The next community workshop is slated for June.
CURIOUS SITES SEENS FROM THE FERRY: THE ROCK
Alcatraz Island, aka The Rock, has a storied past. It’s existed as a Civil War fortress, military prison, federal prison, bird sanctuary, the first lighthouse on the West Coast and the birthplace of the American Indian Red Power movement. Undoubtedly, Alcatraz is most famous for the 29 years it operated as a US penitentiary. Between 1934-1963, over 1,500 people were incarcerated on the island including the infamous Al Capone and the “Birdman of Alcatraz,” Robert Stroud. 
 
Today, the island is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is one of the most visited national park sites within the GGNRA. Pre-pandemic, more than a million visitors frequented the island per year.
 
While San Francisco Bay Ferry does not serve Alcatraz, we can get you into San Francisco where you can catch Alcatraz Cruises over to The Rock. Alcatraz Cruises will resume service to the island on March 15. You can see The Rock from a slightly longer distance from our Vallejo and Richmond ferries.
MV SOLANO GOES TO WASHINGTON
MV Solano is heading to Kitsap County, Wash., in a deal struck between WETA and Kitsap Transit.
 
MV Solano entered service in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2004, operating on the City of Vallejo’s BayLink service until ferry operations were transitioned to WETA in 2012 and rebranded as San Francisco Bay Ferry. While MV Solano remains in great condition, the vessel could not be legally operated in California as of the end of 2019 due to state emissions rules, forcing its early retirement.
 
Kitsap Transit, which connects the communities of Bremerton and Kingston in Kitsap County, Wash., to Seattle, is currently planning for transport of the ferry to Washington State. Kitsap Transit branding will be applied to the vessel, but MV Solano will retain its name.
 
We’ll miss the Solano! Keep it close to your heart with this Legends edition of the MV Solano fleet card.