Ferry terminal to be finished in early 2009

 At the new South San Francisco Ferry Terminal, projected to open in early 2009 at Oyster Point, biotech workers will be able to enter into a sleek glass-enclosed pier, protected from the marina’s strong winds.

Past the pier, a covered 181-foot long waiting depot bobbing on the Bay waves takes passengers through a host of plasma televisions detailing the terminal’s schedule to an environmentally friendly vessel that will take them to Jack London Square terminal in Oakland within 25 minutes.

The South San Francisco City Council could vote tonight on the newly unveiled final design for the proposed $46 million ferry terminal, which has been projected to serve 700 daily riders and has been called by officials from Oyster Point’s biotech firms as a “great alternative” to other modes of public transit.

The terminal will mostly serve East Bay residents who commute to Oyster Point, said Steve Castleberry, CEO of the San Francisco Bay Water Transit Authority. The terminal was drawn up by Roma Design Group, the designers behind the Embarcadero Ferry Terminal in San Francisco.

“It’s important that the terminal feel like it fits the place … that it’s an important landmark,” said architect Boris Dramov of Roma Design.

The ferry ride will cost $5.40, Castleberry said.

Genentech officials said 800 of its 8,000 employees live within a 10 mile radius of Jack London Square. Thefirm said it will include the ferry into its incentive program that gives employees $4 a day for using alternate transportation.

Officials from biotech firm Exilixis, located at Oyster Point, said the ferry is exciting news.

“It allows employees a stress-free commute,” said Kristin Ming-Tanaka, of Exilixis. “It’s a great alternative to driving for employees and it’s faster — you can’t beat that.”

There will probably be four hourly trips in the morning and the evening, said Castleberry. Shuttles will be provided from the terminal to take employees around Oyster Point.

svasilyuk@examiner.com  

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