The San Francisco Bay Area Water Transit Authority ordered two more passenger ferries, continuing its mission of expanding ferry service in the San Francisco Bay area, using ferries that are 10 times cleaner than the existing vessels in the bay. The new ferries, each with a capacity of 199 passengers and capable of speeds up to 25 knots will be built by Kvichak Marine Industries, Inc. in Seattle Washington. In the past year, WTA has awarded four new vessel contracts, more than have been built for the Bay Area in the previous 10 years.
Charlene Haught-Johnson, President of the WTA Board of Directors, is pleased with WTA’s progress. “We already have two vessels under construction in Seattle, Washington that are planned for late 2008 delivery. With two more vessels expected in 2009 we are well on our way to delivering on our promise to put 10 new ferry boats into service on the bay to increase transit options for bay area commuters.”
WTA’s vessels will be put into service on either the new South San Francisco ferry route, scheduled for early 2009 or the Berkeley/Albany route, scheduled for 2010/2011. The vessels will also be available as spare vessels for emergency response in case of temporary disruption of transit service or damage to the Bay Area highways
and bridges. Together the ferries will cost $18.4 million with funding from Regional Measure 2 (bridge tolls) and federal dollars.