San Francisco Bay Ferry To Cut Fares Up To 20 Percent

By John : sfnews – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Bay Ferry is considering lowering their prices and adding new routes to its services as a way to develop business. The change is being considered for at least a year with new off-peak trips being added. Fare reductions range from 7 percent to 20 percent off of current fares. 

On Sunday, March 7, the Ferry’s Executive Director, Seamus Murphy, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “We don’t want to sit back and hope and wait for riders to return.”...(more)

Ever wonder who runs San Francisco Bay Ferry service. We did, so we looked it up. We also wondered what the current rates are so we could figure out how the 7-20% cuts might look. It looks like that depends. If they cut the rates, you may want to look into it.
WETA flag closeup

The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) is a regional public transit agency tasked with operating and expanding ferry service on the San Francisco Bay and with coordinating the water transit response to regional emergencies. Under the San Francisco Bay Ferry brand, WETA carries over three million passengers annually utilizing a fleet of 15 high speed passenger-only ferry vessels. San Francisco Bay Ferry currently serves the cities of Alameda, Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, South San Francisco and Vallejo.

Red Lane Amendments and Efforts to Stop the Corporatization of our Streets

After months of letters, comments and neighborhood pushback against many elements of corporate takeover of our streets and public spaces, many people who shocked by the announcement that some of the Red Lanes in the city are open to use by private enterprise vehicles, such as tech buses, private shuttles, and any vehicle that carries more than 10 riders, based on the definition of a bus.

Supervisor Fewer, among others, scheduled hearings on the use of the Red Lanes that were re-scheduled a couple of times, and reset for early December. As many people were preparing for those meetings, we got the news that recent developments at the Land Use and Transportation Committee may have made those hearings unnecessary.  November 5, 2018, Aaron Peskin aide, Lee Hepner, introduced Amendment 18-862, that was passed unanimously to the Full Board by the Land Use and Transportation Committee:

Ordinance 180862 – Ordinance amending Division I of the Transportation Code to establish a procedure for Board of Supervisors review of Municipal Transportation Agency decisions related to Bus Rapid Transit projects that do not include transit-only areas or lanes for Municipal Railway vehicles, taxis, authorized emergency vehicles, and/or Golden Gate Transit vehicles; and affirming the Planning Department’s determination under the California Environmental Quality Act.

The tape of the meeting is below, go to Item 6:

As a matter of introduction Mr. Hepler described the areas of concern that are under the purview of the Board of Supervisors, though they are not being added to this amendment at this time.

This is a paraphrased transcript of the meeting:

Within the text of Prop A, there is a provision that allows the Board of Supervisors to enact an ordinance that gives the Board the option to review SFMTA decisions regarding various curb space decisions, bicycle lanes, traffic mitigations and measures etc…

Background information:  Supervisors Peskin and Safai co-sponsored Ordinance 180089, to enact that review provision regarding curb use. That ordinance expressly exempted certain projects from review that were determined to be public interest projects, such as bike lanes, curb modifications for street sweeping, and bus rapid transit projects.

This new ordinance is taking on elements of the Bus Rapid Transit Projects that are not clearly defined in the code and providing guidance as to the scope of the board’s review authority of these projects. This proposal expresses this board’s desire to promote Bus Rapid Transport projects that are generally designed and implemented to further public transportation reliability.

The amendment clarifies the Board of Supervisor’s policy preference. The board would not review BRT projects that are designed for public transportation use, but would take review of BRT projects designed for use by private commercial shuttles, tour busses or other modes of private transportation that might actually impede the flow of public transportation.

The proposed amendment… replaces the words, “bus rapid transit project” with “bus rapid transit project that includes transit only areas or lanes for municipal railway vehicles, taxis, authorized emergency vehicles, and/or Golden Gate Transit Vehicles.”

SFMTA appears to have collaborated on this. The amendment passed to the full Board of Supervisors as is on the agenda for the November 13 Board of Supervisors meeting. We had no notice, but, this appears to be going through rather rapidly. In this case, that may be a good thing.


FRIDAY, MAY 17, 3 PM, Mock Funeral (Small Business Week) by No North Beach Dig, at 721 Filbert/ Columbus.
SATURDAY, MAY 18, 10 AM, Mayors Budget Town Hall, at Galileo Academy, 1150 Francisco/ Van Ness.
Speaker cards will be selective—but support speakers opposing the Pagoda/ Central Subway Projects                                            Revision B  May 15, 2013
Without the sunshine of independent audits, huge cost overruns for the Central Subway Project are being concealed—to force city officials and taxpayers into future debt loads.
According to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), all project contracts have been awarded or bid.  Based on available data, contingency funds are now at insufficient levels or gone altogether—even before major construction begins for tunneling and deep excavations:


Attached: Total Project Budget and Contracts List

Given the FTA’s designation of the Central Subway as high risk and given the problematic history of tunneling, the Central Subway will go over budget by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Without full independent audits, hundreds of millions of dollars of cost overruns are being concealed—to force city officials and taxpayers into future debt loads.

The Central Subway will absorb most of San Francisco’s transportation capital budget for years to come, sacrificing essential transit projects.  As required by the FTA, San Francisco’s taxpayers will pay for all project cost overruns—with decreased Muni operating funds and service cuts.

  • Cost overruns do not include the unnecessary Pagoda Theater Project, which is also going overbudget, taking at least $9.15 million from Muni operating reserves.
  • SFMTA can save up to $80 million by burying, dismantling or extracting tunnel boring machines in Chinatown (like New York, Chunnel, Brisbane…) and deleting the 2,000 foot tunnels from Chinatown to Washington Square.
  • These cost overruns are stunning, since the Central Subway’s budget has already increased from $647 million to $1.578 billion since 2003.
  • Moreover, design cuts have reduced quality, shortened station platforms to maximum 2-car lengths (forever limiting passenger capacity), eliminated moving sidewalks, reduced fire exit paths….

Central Subway Has Already Cut Muni Service:  To get local matching funds, the Central Subway has drained Muni’s operating/ maintenance funds—-causing service cuts, route eliminations, deferred maintenance, crumbling infrastructure, missed runs, switchbacks, shorter “holiday” schedules, increased fares/ fees/ fines/ meters….

  • In 2007, the new T-Line (Central Subway Phase 1) eliminated the 15-Kearny Bus/ 20 Columbus Bus and cut hours for the 41-Union Bus.
  • In 2009-10, budget deficits led to 15%+ service cuts, including 6 discontinued routes, 16 shortened routes and reduced operating hours on 22 additional routes.
  • If built, according to FEIR and FTA documents, the Central Subway will take $15 million annually from Muni operating funds and cut 34,000-76,000 bus hours/ year from the 8X, 30, 45 bus lines.
  • With elimination of the T-Line’s Embarcadero loop and direct connectivity to Market Street’s BART/ Metro Stations, the Central Subway will cut transit service levels for hundreds of thousands of riders.

Central Subway a Development Deal, Not a Transit Project.  Initially a political deal, the Central Subway is now driven by developers, real estate interests and the 1% who benefit financially—at the expense of Muni riders and taxpayers.  Commuter links to Caltrain will drive up land values, development, gentrification, rents and evictions—hurting affordability, diversity, middle-class families and the Mediterranean quality of northeastern neighborhoods.

  • For the Central Corridor Plan on Fourth Street, business associations are already lobbying for densities higher than proposed by the Planning Department.
  • On October 9, 2008, the Planning Director and a Planning Commissioner held a Chinatown meeting for “Rezoning Chinatown”.
  • The illegal 2,000-foot tunnels from Chinatown to North Beach sneak in part of a northern subway without environmental reviews and public processes—sacrificing fragile businesses for development.

“If they build the Subway, it will ensure major, major new development at the stops in Chinatown and North Beach; and in terms of scale, these neighborhoods will never be the same again.”Allen B. Jacobs,  Past SF Planning Director & Dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.

Abandon the wasteful Central Subway and Pagoda Theater Projects;  Invest hundreds of millions of dollars into revolutionizing Muni throughout San Francisco.  Follow examples of stopping the Embarcadero Freeway and Alaska’s Bridge to Nowhere.

The Central Subway’s local funds and recovered federal funds (like Sarah Palin and the Bridge to Nowhere) can quickly create transit-preferential streets, pedestrian-bicycle enhancements, street beautification, robust commercial corridors and neighborhoods.  By example, in 1973, Zurich’s voters rejected an expensive subway project and voted instead to implement a less costly transit-priority program—-leading to one of the world’s highest per capita ridership rates because its transit service is fast, frequent, reliable and inexpensive.

ZURICH: The World’s Best Transit City:

Howard Wong, AIA