After the bridges began opening in the 1930s, and as automobiles became more attainable, boat travel became less popular. Today, ferries are more popular with tourists than commuters.
But this could change.
In a disaster, if the bridges and BART were inaccessible, over 300,000 people could be stuck in San Francisco. To prepare for this, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) was signed into existence in 2007. WETA’s goal is to prepare for the worst case scenario.
WETA is working to make ferries a more attractive and viable commuting option for everyday travelers. This expansion includes several proposed new routes (including Hercules, Richmond, Antioch, and Martinez) with more convenient landside connections, more efficient boats, and improved facilities at the SF Ferry Building.
WETA oversees five ferry companies. Each runs its own routes, schedules, and fare structure.
- BayLink Ferry/Blue and Gold Fleet – Vallejo, Pier 41, Angel Island, SF Ferry Building
- Alameda/Oakland Ferry– Alameda (the island), Oakland’s Jack London Square and Angel Island to Pier 41, the SF Ferry Building, and AT&T Park in San Francisco.
- Harbor Bay Ferry– Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal (south of Alameda, in Oakland) with the SF Ferry Building
- Golden Gate Ferry– Sausalito and Larkspur in Marin to the SF Ferry Building
- Blue and Gold Fleet– Sausalito, Angel Island, Alameda and Oakland to the SF Pier 41 and SF Ferry Building
Real-time arrival information for all the WETA ferries is available on NextBus.
Many ferries allow bicycles (either free or for a fee).
And of course, all of the ferries accept payment by Clipper Card.
Ready to get started? Take a trip to Angel Island!