Adapted from a release issued by the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) and the Port of San Francisco.
The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) and the Port of San Francisco yesterday broke ground on the Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project. The project will allow for expanded regional ferry service, alleviate current overcrowding, and increase WETA’s emergency response capabilities in the event of a regional transportation disruption or disaster.
The groundbreaking was attended by more than 75 civic, government and business officials, including S.F. Supervisor Jane Kim, who also serves as an MTC commissioner. In her remarks, Kim thanked the region's bridge toll payers, who are helping to finance the terminal expansion and improvement project through Regional Measure 2 (RM 2). Approved by Bay Area voters in 2004, RM 2 increased tolls on Bay Area bridges in part to pay for transit improvements to alleviate congestion on bridges. MTC has allocated $22 million in RM 2 funds to the terminal project, with the remainder of the funding for the $79 million terminal project coming from state Proposition 1B and Federal Transit Administration funds. MTC has also allocated $24 million in RM 2 funding to help pay for six new ferry boats for the WETA system.
“As the population continues to grow in this region, we need to find new transportation alternatives that reduce congestion on our freeways and ease the burden on our bus and rail systems,” said S.F. Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “Expanding our ferry network will provide residents with increased options for traveling around the Bay Area in a safe, convenient and reliable manner.”
“This project is one facet of WETA’s $465 million investment in assets and infrastructure — including new terminals, maintenance and operations facilities, and vessels— to expand ferry service, prepare the system for future routes, and increase our emergency response capabilities,” said Nina Rannells, WETA executive director.
The Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project includes construction of two new ferry gates and vessel berthing facilities that will support new ferry services from San Francisco to Richmond and Treasure Island, as well as other potential locations currently under study. The project also will improve landside conditions at the San Francisco Ferry Terminal by providing new amenities such as weather-protected canopies, a new plaza area south of the Ferry Building, the extension of pedestrian promenade areas and other public access improvements. The new gates and amenities will significantly improve waiting and queuing conditions for existing riders and expand the space available for WETA to stage emergency water transit services in the event of a regional transportation disruption or disaster.
“The Port is proud to prioritize the development of new and improved ferry landings which will benefit the environment, create jobs, prepare for emergencies and help safely move our growing population around the region,” said Elaine Forbes, executive director of the Port of San Francisco.
WETA’s San Francisco Bay Ferry system and Golden Gate Transit's ferry system each carry approximately 2.4 million riders per year to and from Port of San Francisco facilities, for a total of 4.8 million passengers moving through the San Francisco ferry terminal annually.
Expected to be operational in 2019, the ferry terminal expansion and improvement project was designed by the ROMA Design Group, while the contractor is Power Engineering Construction Co.
WETA was established by the state legislature to operate an integrated regional ferry service, expand ferry service on the Bay, and coordinate the water transit response to a regional emergency. Under the San Francisco Bay Ferry brand, WETA operates daily passenger ferry service to the cities of Alameda, Oakland, San Francisco, Vallejo, and South San Francisco.
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Photo, left to right: Doreen Woo Ho, Port of San Francisco Commission; Anthony Intintoli, WETA Board of Directors; Jody Breckenridge, chair, WETA Board of Directors; Jim Wunderman, vice chair, WETA Board of Directors; Elaine Forbes, executive director, Port of San Francisco; Edwin M. Lee, mayor, City and County of San Francisco; Kimberly Brandon, vice president, Port of San Francisco Commission; Jane Kim, District 6 supervisor and MTC commissioner; Nina Rannells, executive director, WETA, Leslie Katz, Port of San Francisco Commission; Tim Donovan, WETA Board of Directors; and Jeff DelBono, WETA Board of Directors.