The first of two vessels purchased by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (GGBHTD) from Washington State Ferry in January 2009 has been completely refurbished and is entering service today, May 16, on the Larkspur-San Francisco Route.
The two Washington State Ferry vessels, now named the M.V. Golden Gate (formerly the Chinook) and the M.V. Napa (formerly the Snohomish) were purchased for $2 million each and have a refurbishment budget of approximately $10 million each. The $24 million project is being funded through a combination of federal, state and GGBHTD funds. For perspective, the cost of just one new high-speed catamaran vessel is currently about $20 million.
In 2009, the M.V. Napa was brought to Larkspur from Washington State without undergoing a complete refurbishment. This vessel entered service on May 28, 2009 on the Larkspur-San Francisco route and has been in service until recently when it was taken out to undergo a total refurbishment, very similar to the one just received by the M.V. Golden Gate.
The Golden Gate Ferry Fleet now consists of 7 vessels:
3 Spaulding Class 715 Passenger vessels: MS Marin, MS Sonoma, MS San Francisco. These vessels are used for the Sausalito route and the AT&T SF Giants service.
4 high speed catamarans: MV Del Norte, MV Mendocino, MV Napa, MV Golden Gate. These vessels are used on the Larkspur route.