Bay Area WETA to Receive Recovery Funding

San Francisco Bay Ferry Hydrus
San Francisco Bay Ferry Hydrus
The San Francisco Bay Ferry Hydrus departing the ferry building in San Francisco. File photo: Niagara/Creative Commons.

The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority, 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, is receiving a $26 million financial boost to keep the San Francisco Bay Ferry service running.

The grant, which is being as it continues to recover its ridership, thanks to a grant from the federal American Rescue Plan.

WETA received word about the grant last week; not receiving it could have meant “the prospect of severe service cuts and potential labor force reduction next fiscal year due to revenue shortfalls caused by lower transit demand,” the Authority said.

WETA is also feeling the pinch from rising fuel costs.

WETA Executive Director Seamus Murphy said the Authority is grateful for the additional federal funds to maintain services while ridership rebounds and WETA identifies new sources of sustainable transit investments.

“Federal relief funds made it possible for WETA to be the first Bay Area transit agency to relaunch pre-pandemic service levels in 2021,” Murphy said. “That, combined with a revised fare structure and redesigned schedule has helped maximize and diversify ferry ridership while the region recovers from the pandemic.”

By Karen Robes Meeks