Ferry Questions Answered

Ferry Q&A is where you can have your questions about Bay Area ferry service answered by the professionals who speak for the ferry systems on a daily basis.

Published: March, 2019


Ferry Q&A is where you can have your questions about Bay Area ferry service answered by the professionals who speak for the ferry systems on a daily basis. Thomas Hall is the public information and marketing manager for WETA, the agency that runs the San Francisco Bay Ferry service.  Priya Clemens is his counterpart at Golden Gate Transit. Their answers to your ferry questions are marked with a “WETA” and a “GG,” respectively.


Please submit your questions today to info@baycrossings.com.


When and how are decisions made on weather delays and cancellations and how can I find out about them before going to the terminal?


GG: Our ferry operations team is regularly keeping an eye on the weather. Luckily, our heavier vessels can easily cross the Bay in most storms. We will sometimes have trouble docking in Tiburon in very windy weather. To find out about weather delays and cancellations, please sign up for our notifications at goldengate.org/alerts. We make every attempt to alert customers as soon as possible, while also working hard to maintain our service schedule despite the weather. We know you rely on Golden Gate Ferry to get across the Bay and we want to be there for you!


WETA: Safety is our top priority, and we rely on our ferry captains and operations experts to determine when we must cancel service due to adverse weather. This most often impacts our South San Francisco and Harbor Bay services when a storm produces high winds coming out of the south. The best way to find out if service is impacted is to sign up for our BayAlerts service at sanfranciscobayferry.com. We’ll send a text or email when weather is causing ferry interruptions.


Parking can be difficult at the Larkspur, Alameda Main Street and Harbor Bay ferry terminals at times. Are there plans to expand parking or offer more options at these and other terminals?


GG: Parking at Larkspur has been tight for several years as demand for our services has increased. We are in the planning stages of growing our ferry service to and from Larkspur, which would involve consideration of additional parking. As we are a multi-modal transit agency (ferry, bus and bridge), we are able to make helpful connections between our services to better provide access to the ferries for our customers. We currently operate two free shuttle busses to the Larkspur Ferry Terminal, and we are regularly trying out new routes to expand the shuttle service. Additionally, we use bridge toll revenue to support our bus and ferry operations. Currently, there’s a toll proposal increase on the Golden Gate Bridge. While some of the toll increase options would leave service at the same levels, other options would increase the toll enough to provide funding for expanded ferry service. The more people riding our ferries and buses, the less congestion on Highway 101 and the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a virtuous cycle.


WETA: We work with our partner cities on parking solutions. As ridership has boomed, so has demand for parking at our terminals. We continue to work with the City of Alameda on terminal access and parking issues at both Alameda Main Street and Harbor Bay. We encourage passengers to use alternate methods such as bicycling or transit to avoid the parking crush. Bicycles are welcome on our ferries and we have secure bike parking available at our terminals. Bike share is also available at some of our terminals, including Alameda Main Street.