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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Richmond Ferry Service to Become a Reality

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 6, 2015

Nina Rannells of the Water Emergency Transportation Authority. Courtesy SFBT

Nina Rannells of the Water Emergency Transportation Authority. Courtesy SFBT


At its meeting of March 5, the Board of Directors of the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) approved a Cooperative Agreement with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and the City of Richmond to provide operating subsidy for proposed Richmond ferry service. The 10-year agreement will serve as the basis of future planning efforts among the involved agencies to support and plan for Richmond ferry service. 

WETA will now begin the process of securing funding for the purchase of two catamaran ferry vessels and construction of a Richmond ferry terminal, at a cost of approximately $40-45 million. WETA will build the Richmond ferry terminal at Ford Peninsula in Richmond. The ferry service should be fully operational in 2018.

Richmond was selected for ferry service among other East Bay cities based on ridership projections and operating costs.

The ferry subsidy funding agreement is the result of cooperation among the City of Richmond, WETA and CCTA and reflects CCTA's commitment to offer a variety of transportation services to Contra Costa's citizens.

Approval of the Cooperative Agreement with CCTA provides operational subsidy for the Richmond Ferry service for a minimum service period of 10 years. It is estimated that a total of $37.1 million in Measure J funds will be needed to support the Richmond Ferry service during this period.

The initial level of service will offer three trips to San Francisco in the morning peak period (6AM-9AM), along with two reverse commute trips back to Richmond. In the evening peak period (3PM-7PM), there will be four trips from San Francisco to Richmond, with three reverse commute trips back to San Francisco.
“The vote today represents a significant milestone in bringing ferry service to Richmond,” said WETA Executive Director Nina Rannels. “This agreement, which was developed in partnership with the City of Richmond and CCTA, will allow us to move forward to secure capital funds, complete final design of the terminal, and begin construction of the service vessels.”

“Richmond and CCTA have been working with WETA to implement sustainable ferry service since the Loma Prieta earthquake,” said Richmond Mayor and CCTA Board Member Tom Butt who has made bringing ferry service to Richmond a priority issue. “The opening of the UC Global Campus in Richmond, the vibrant population growth in the West County and the continuing congestion on I-80, makes it clear that increased ferry service is an important part of our transit mix. Thanks to our partners at WCCTAC (West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee), CCTA (Contra Costa Transportation Authority), BATA, the City of Hercules and WETA, we now have funding, an approved terminal plan and an operating plan. As soon as WETA can procure two boats and build the terminal facilities, we are off and boating!"

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