Ferry Service Coming to Berkeley?

A public planning process for connecting Berkeley to a fast-growing regional ferry system got the thumbs up this week from the City Council. Berkeley is one of 16 locations around the Bay identified for a possible terminal as part of an ambitious multi-year plan to expand regional water transit. The Bay Area Council has been a strong advocate for regional ferry service expansion and was instrumental in the creation of the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), which runs the SF Bay Ferry service. The Council, whose CEO Jim Wunderman serves as Vice Chair of WETA, also helped lead the successful Regional Measure 3 last year that will provide significant funding for building terminals, expanding the fleet and paying for operations.

News of the City Council’s decision was reported on the website Berkeleyside, which said ferry service could be accessible from a new “public recreation pier.” WETA is scheduled to vote on Berkeley’s public planning process at its April 4 meeting. The issue is likely to prompt an interesting conversation. Some ferry advocates, including WETA board member Nicholas Josefowitz, have argued for locating new terminals closer to housing and jobs centers to maximize ridership. To engage in the Council’s water transit work, please contact Senior Vice President Gwen Litvak.

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