The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) is to exercise a $14.8 million build option for a second 300-passenger high-speed ferry from La Conner, Wash., shipbuilder Mavrik Marine Inc. to support growth of San Francisco Bay Ferry service.
The vessel will be a sister ship to the Dorado, which is currently under construction at Mavrik and is expected to join WETA’s fleet in 2020.
“WETA is moving aggressively to rapidly expand San Francisco Bay Ferry capacity as opportunities become available,” said Nina Rannells, WETA’s executive director. “Our new vessels, including this second ferry from Mavrik Marine, will support our ability to deliver high-quality service on our current routes and help us to deliver service to new terminals expected to come online in the years to come.”
There are currently 15 ferries in San Francisco Bay Ferry service, with two additional vessels (445-passenger Lyra and 300-passenger Dorado) under construction and on track for 2020 completion. Solano, a 320-passenger ferry, is due for retirement and sale out-of-state at the end of 2019, due to state emissions rules.
When completed in 2021, the second vessel from Mavrik Marine will bring the fleet to 17 vessels and 6,000 total seats, both all-time highs.
WETA has added six new ferries with a combined 2,490 seats to its fleet since 2017. This vessel investment has allowed WETA to extend San Francisco Bay Ferry service to Richmond and add much-need capacity on the popular Vallejo, Alameda and Oakland routes. Ferry ridership has doubled since 2012.
The new vessel’s design, construction and delivery will be funded through a combination of State Proposition 1B grant funds, proceeds from the sale of recently retired ferries and State Transit Assistance funds.
WETA is a regional public transit agency tasked with operating and expanding ferry service on the San Francisco Bay and with coordinating the water transit response to regional emergencies.
San Francisco Bay Ferry, a service of WETA, operates ferry routes connecting the cities of Alameda, Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, South San Francisco and Vallejo.