Golden Gate Ferry customers now have new automated ticket vending machines to purchase transit fares, although the technology comes at the expense of seven district employees.
There are four ticking vending machines at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal, two at the Sausalito Ferry Landing, and six at the San Francisco Ferry Terminal. The soft launch of the ticket vending machines began today.
The Golden Gate Bridge District, which oversees ferry operations, is facing a five-year $89 million budget shortfall, and has been cutting staffing to make up that shortfall. Earlier this year, the district approved a plan to implement all-electronic tolling on the bridge by 2012, a development that will result in the job losses of 32 employees.
The transition to electronic ticket machines will save $6.2 million over the next 10 years. All-electronic tolling is expected to save $16 million over 10 years.
The new vending machines will accept cash, debit cards, and credit cards, and will dispense ferry tickets and Clipper cards. Passengers will also be able to add value to their Clipper cards on the machines.
Tickets to baseball games at AT&T Park cannot be purchased at the machines, and commuter checks are not accepted.
During the transition to the automated ticketing machines, the district’s regular ticket office hours will be reduced by 50 percent.