Ferry Service From Richmond Is A Hit: Here's Why

Kim Wonderley
August 21, 2019 - 8:38 am
The Richmond Ferry Arrives at The San Francisco Ferry Building

KCBS Reporter Megan Goldsby

Ferries are one of the most efficient and pleasant ways to get into San Francisco. Boats are full in Marin, very popular in Alameda, and just now catching on in Richmond. Kim Wonderley takes a closer look in the Road Report.

Richmond to San Francisco in 35 minutes? It could take you that long just to get through the Bay Bridge toll plaza on a busy day.

The Richmond ferry launched back in January and commuters have climbed aboard with the daily ridership steadily growing. In fact, they have exceeded expectations  by about 40%, according to the transportation authority that runs the service.

What's not to like? There's comfortable seating, free wifi, snack bars not to mention $1 million views.

The Richmond ferry has been such a hit, that talk soon began about offering weekend service too. That dream is now a reality, although it's only in test mode for now.

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For the next three months, until the first weekend in November, there will be five ferry runs from Richmond's ferry terminal at Ford Point near the Craneway Pavilion into San Francisco's historic Ferry Building. 

The weekend price of $9.30 — of $7 with a Clipper card — is the same as weekday service. Or riders can download the Hopthru app on your mobile device and purchase your ticket in advance.

At the end of this test period in November, the transportation authority will see if indeed the boats are as popular with leisure travelers as they have been with commuters. 

The advantages of a ferry ride are obvious. No congestion on the Eastshore Freeway or Bay Bridge. No drama and expense of parking in the city.

Hopefully, with enough support, the Richmond ferry will become a 7-day-a-week service very soon.