San Francisco Bay Ferry Board of Directors adopts 2050 Service Vision

May 13, 2024
The 2050 Service Vision and Expansion Policy sets standards for enhancement and expansion of existing ferry service throughout the Bay Area.

The San Francisco (SF) Bay Ferry Board of Directors adopted the agency’s 2050 Service Vision, committing to enhance, expand and electrify regional water transit during the next 25 years. 

“SF Bay Ferry has successfully delivered the region’s fastest-growing and most highly-rated regional transit service so it’s no surprise to see that there is strong interest in the expansion of the network,” said Jim Wunderman, chair of the San Francisco Bay Ferry Board of Directors. “This Service Vision is a reflection of that interest and of our commitment to aggressively pursue a new golden age of ferries in the Bay Area, where this world-class system is made even better and is available to even more communities and more riders throughout the region.” 

The 2050 Service Vision and Expansion Policy sets standards for enhancement and expansion of existing ferry service. The agency currently operates in Alameda, Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, south San Francisco and Vallejo, Calif. Under the policy, the agency would seek enhancement on growing existing services. 

Four new proposed services are identified as near-term Tier 1 expansion opportunities: 

  1. Berkeley 
  2. Mission Bay (San Francisco) 
  3. Redwood City 
  4. Treasure Island (San Francisco) 

Tier 2 expansion opportunities identified for further exploration include: 

  • Carquinez Strait communities such as Martinez, Pittsburg and Antioch 
  • Hercules 
  • Direct East Bay-Marin County service 
  • Foster City 
  • Additional routes serving south San Francisco 
  • Frequent service between Alameda and Oakland 

The proposed expansion would further extend the agency’s critical emergency water transit capabilities. 

The policy also commits the agency to developing a Pilot Service Program to help assess new markets and technology for opportunities that do not yet meet expansion criteria. 

The agency continues to make progress on its Rapid Electric Emission Free (REEF) Ferry Program, having secured more than $117 million to electrify its ferry service. The 2050 Service Vision commits the agency to focus on adding zero-emission vessels to its fleet through new construction and conversion of existing vessels, when feasible. 

SF Bay Ferry currently operates the cleanest ferry system in the country with a 17-vessel fleet powered by renewable diesel, with 13 of the vessels meeting the strictest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions levels. The agency is on track to award shipyard contracts for its first five zero-emission battery electric vessels in 2024.