Bay Area to get two new ferries

Two more passenger ferries will soon be cruising around the San Francisco Bay. The new ferries will each carry a maximum of 199 people and will be capable of speeds up to 25 knots.

“We already have two vessels under construction in Seattle that are planned for late 2008 delivery,” San Francisco Bay Area Water Transit Authority Board of Directors President Charlene Haught-Johnson said. “With two more vessels expected in 2009, we are well on our way to delivering on our promise to put 10 new ferry boats into service on the bay to increase transit options for Bay Area commuters.”

The new ferries are scheduled to be used either on the new South San Francisco route beginning 2009 or on the Berkeley-Albany route by 2011, according to the transit authority.

They could also be used for emergency responses in case of a temporary disruption of transit service or damage to highways and bridges. The ferries will cost $18.4 million, with the money coming from bridge tolls and federal funding.

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