Ferries to Provide Assistance in Future Disasters

Monday, February 06, 2006
To address future disasters, the Bay Area Council is working in Sacramento with the governor and legislative leaders on major infrastructure bond proposals, which may well set the agenda for decades to come. Being discussed is the legislation authored by Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland eight years ago, and signed into law by the governor, regarding the Bay Area Council’s proposal for a comprehensive high-speed water transit system that -- in addition to significantly improving daily traffic -- would provide a highly flexible disaster recovery transportation system. This new system recognized that the waters of the bay could be transformed from a transportation obstacle into a transportation asset, with high-speed ferries running to all communities with waterfront access. In addition to improving daily mobility for tens of thousands of residents, in a disaster these ferries would shuttle supplies, responders and victims around the region, even while roads, bridges and trains would still be closed for inspection and repairs. By necessity, the system would have terminals ringing the bay -- from Alviso and Moffett Field near San Jose to Port Sonoma and Benicia in the North Bay, in addition to existing facilities in Oakland, San Francisco, Marin and Vallejo. Yet the system has never received the funding it needs to build more than a modest three new routes, the first scheduled to start in 2009.

(Source: San Francisco Chronicle)

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