Sausalito, Larkspur ferry trips likely to cost more with Clipper

Ferry riders who use their Clipper card to pay fares will likely be charged more starting in January.

Golden Gate Ferry passengers who use the regional transit-payment card currently receive a 46 percent discount on fares between Sausalito and San Francisco, and a 38 percent break between Larkspur and The City.

However, with the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District facing a five-year projected shortfall of $89 million, its Transportation Committee approved a proposal Thursday that would cut into those subsidies.

Instead of paying $5.15 for service between Larkspur and San Francisco, Clipper card holders would pay $5.70 under the proposal. For Sausalito service, the discounted Clipper rate would increase from $4.40 to $4.85.

Currently, cash-paying customers are charged $8.25 for service on the two routes.

Overall, roughly 6,050 passengers travel on the Larkspur and Sausalito routes daily. Of that total, 63 percent use the Clipper card to pay their fares, according to bridge district spokeswoman Mary Curry.

Along with approving the fare-increase proposals Thursday, the Transportation Committee recommended scheduling changes to Larkspur service.

Three trips would be eliminated and two consolidated, and several others would operate at different times under the proposal, which includes adding one afternoon trip.

Combined, the scheduling changes and fare increases would create between $421,000 to $591,000 annually in cost savings and revenue generation for the bridge district’s budget.

Today, the board of directors will vote on final authorization of the dual measures. If approved, they will take effect Jan. 1.

Originally, the bridge district proposed increasing Clipper card fares to $5.80 on both the Sausalito and Larkspur routes, but that motion was scaled back after strong public backlash.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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