WETA Adopts Safety Plan, Increases Ferry Service

The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) will resume San Francisco Bay Ferry service on the Richmond route and double service on the Vallejo route beginning on Monday, June 15. WETA has also adopted a six-point Passenger and Crew Safety Plan, formalizing safety measures put into effect to help prevent spread of COVID-19 in the Bay Area.

“As the region gets back to work, San Francisco Bay Ferry provides a safe, clean and comfortable way to cross the Bay,” said Jim Wunderman, chair of the WETA Board of Directors. “WETA’s safety plan is geared toward protecting passengers and crews while helping as many commuters as possible avoid the traffic congestion that’s already beginning to return.”

The safety plan includes:

• Enhanced cleaning

• All ferries and terminals are being cleaned thoroughly and frequently using coronavirus-killing products. Social distancing

• Maximum capacity restrictions on ferries are in place to allow plenty of space for passengers. Social distancing is required at terminals.

• Face coverings

• All crews and passengers are required to wear masks or face coverings on the ferry and at terminals.

• Hand sanitizer and clean, stocked bathrooms are available on every ferry.
• Healthy crews

• Vessel crews’ temperatures are checked before reporting to work. All ferry and facility staff are provided personal protective equipment.

• Touchless payment

• Clipper, Hopthru and the Vallejo monthly pass are highly recommended for fare payment.

Service on three San Francisco Bay Ferry routes was suspended on March 17 in response to regional shelter-in-place orders. The Richmond ferry service will resume on Monday, June 15. Richmond ferry service is funded under an agreement between WETA and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority using Contra Costa County Measure J transportation sales tax dollars. The Harbor Bay and South San Francisco routes remain suspended. WETA reduced service on the Vallejo and Alameda/Oakland routes on March 17. Due to ridership increases on the Vallejo route, service increases will go into effect on June 15. Decisions on further service enhancements and resumption of suspended routes will be made in the coming months as the economy opens up and travel and ridership demand increases.

Additional details on WETA’s Passenger and Crew Safety Plan, as well as Richmond, Vallejo and Alameda/Oakland ferry schedules, can be found at sfbf.mobi/bestwayback.

By Sarah Spangler