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Hate Traffic? Try Commuting From the Deck of a Ferry

By Genevieve DiNatale

In 1999, the California Legislature established the San Francisco Bay Area Water Transit Authority (WTA) in order to regionalize the agency that operates the ferries in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as to improve general mobility and reduce traffic congestion.

Eight years later, the California legislature directed the agency to take control of the public ferry transit systems operated by the cities of Vallejo and Alameda. Additionally, the WTA was given the responsibility of the coordination and oversight of the ferry transit in the event of a natural disaster- and the WTA was renamed the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA).

According to SF Bay Ferry Rep Jen Gainza, "WETA is responsible for operating San Francisco Bay Ferry (SFBF) service that serves Oakland (Jack London Square); Alameda (Harbor Bay and Main Street); San Francisco (Downtown Ferry Building and Pier 41); South San Francisco (Oyster Point Marina); and Vallejo. Seasonal service is also provided to AT&T Park for [San Francisco] Giants games. Working with community, civic and transit partners WETA is actively evaluating the potential for future expansion services to several locations, including Richmond, Berkeley, and Treasure Island."

Commuters and tourists alike take the ferry. Ferry travel is stress-free and requires no traffic jams or bridge tolls. Rather than scanning your radio in congested California traffic, why not peruse the Internet while sipping your favorite beverage form the deck of a ferry? Each ferry has free WiFi, bike storage capabilities, and a view of the water. That certainly beats reading bumper stickers in four lanes of traffic as you scramble to grab a handful of change to pay tolls.

Gainza explains that, "The ferry is the most convenient, scenic way to get from San Francisco to the East Bay, specifically Jack London Square in Oakland and Harbor Bay in Alameda." Her favorite ferry destination is also one of the most popular: AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.

Aside from the pure and simple pleasures of riding the ferry, the SFBF system is an integral part of the region's emergency response capability in the event that an earthquake or other natural disaster disrupts ground and/or bridge transportation.

Free to visit our site to find our more about the Bay Area Ferry Service

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