The commute in the Bay Area is among the nations most challenging. But to ease congestion, the Contra Costa Transportaton Authority is among a group of Bay Area agencies that are investing in a mode not available to most metropolitan areas: ferries.
The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and City of Richmond have teamed up to launch the Richmond Ferry Terminal in January (2019). The new San Francisco Bay Ferry Richmond service will offer four peak direction and two reverse commute trips between Richmond’s Ford Point and the San Francisco Ferry Building during weekday morning and evening commutes. The ferry service carries nearly 3 million passengers annually.
CCTA is contributing Contra Costa’s Measure J transportation sales tax revenues to fund operations of the Richmond ferry service for at least 10 years. The operations support is significant because it is generally the hardest funding to raise. Most funding programs are designed for capital improvements, not operations.
“The Contra Costa Transportation Authority is proud to be a funding partner of this new ferry service, which is creating a stronger connection between Contra Costa County’s communities and the Bay Area region,” said Federal Glover, CCTA’s Board Chair. “Providing commuters with more options to travel to and from work helps make our county a more desirable place to live, to operate a business and to raise a family.”
Looking to the future, WETA has developed a 20-year strategic plan with an ambitious vision that would expand regional ferry system to include 44 vessels, 16 terminals and 12 routes that would serve to increase peak period capacity 740 percent by 2035.
Capital funding for the Richmond Ferry Terminal project was provided by Regional Measure 2 (RM2 - a voter supported increase adopted in 2004 that raised the bride tolls by $1) on bridge tolls), State Proposition 1B and U.S. Department of Transportation funds. The total project cost for design and construction was $20 million.