As part of a $98 million project to expand ferry capacity on the San Francisco Bay, the second of two new ferry gates was unveiled on Thursday along the San Francisco waterfront.
The newly installed gates are part of the San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project, which aims to double the city’s downtown ferry
capacity and support increased ferry ridership, which the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority says has doubled since 2012.
“Right now it is simply too difficult for many people to commute in and out of San Francisco,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a
statement. “Our population and our economy are growing. We need to make sure that we continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure to break the gridlock, and this includes expanding our ferry service throughout the Bay Area.”
The new Gate F, located just south of the Ferry Building on The Embarcadero, serves passengers riding the Richmond and Harbor Bay routes. Gate G, which opened in December and is located in the same area as Gate F, serves passengers riding the Alameda/Oakland route.
“San Francisco is growing with new routes and more passengers than ever,” WETA’s executive director Nina Rannells said in a statement. “These new gates in downtown San Francisco increase our capacity and represent a major upgrade to our busiest terminal. This is a huge milestone for this project and for the growth of WETA’s ferry service in the Bay Area.”
Gate E, located alongside the new gates F and G, will be rebuilt during the next year, as a public plaza is being built, in accordance with the project. The plaza is set to include weather-protected canopies, extended pedestrian promenade areas and other improvements.
In addition to overseeing the ferry expansion project, WETA is also responsible for coordinating emergency water transit. The new gates will improve WETA’s ability to evacuate residents and transport first-responders during a major disaster if necessary.
WETA began construction on the expansion project in 2016. The project is expected to be finished by 2020.
-Daniel Montes, Bay City NewsTransit