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Published on May 14, 2024
San Francisco Bay Ferry Unveils 2050 Vision for Expansion and Electrification of Regional TransitSource: San Francisco Bay Ferry

San Francisco Bay Ferry is steaming ahead with ambitious plans to revolutionize regional transit by the mid-21st century as the agency adopts a 2050 Service Vision aimed at major enhancements, expansions, and a move towards electrification of its fleet. In a powerful show of commitment to sustainable transit, the agency outlines a future where commuters across the Bay could enjoy a cleaner, more expansive ferry system.

According to the San Francisco Bay Ferry's press release, Chair of the agency’s Board of Directors Jim Wunderman said, "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." He was enthused over the vision to herald a new golden age of ferries, to be shared with more communities and an increasing number of riders.

The plan doesn't stop at expanding the current routes, which cover Alameda, Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, South San Francisco, and Vallejo. Near-term "Tier 1" expansions will see new services reach Berkeley, Mission Bay, Redwood City, and Treasure Island. Further "Tier 2" explorations may ferry riders to Carquinez Strait communities, Hercules, and even a direct East Bay-Marin County service, as the Alameda Post details.

Getting greener is also on the agenda for SF Bay Ferry, which operates the nation’s cleanest fleet, currently powered by renewable diesel. Having already bagged over $117 million in funding, the REEF Ferry program marks the path to a zero-emission ferry service. As the agency's fleet gets a high-tech upgrade, awarding contracts later this year for constructing the first five of its battery-electric vessels, of which thirteen already meet the United States Environmental Protection Agency's sternest emission standards.

Further still, the vision outlines the development of a Pilot Service Program designed to test new markets and technologies, ensuring that the ferry system stays abreast with the dynamism of tech and transportation needs as time unfurls.