regional ferry fleet continues to expand with arrival of new boat
In a fun series of tweets, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) this week tracked the progress of its newest ferry vessel as it made its way from a shipyard in Washington where it was built, along the coast and ending at Mare Island in Vallejo. The 445-passenger Vela will now undergo inspections in the next couple weeks before launching into regular service sometime after Labor Day. It’s the second ferry to arrive this year and the fifth vessel WETA has added to its fleet since 2017 with combined seating of 2,045. Three more ferries with almost 1,200 seats are scheduled to arrive next year. It’s all part of a massive expansion of regional ferry service that the Bay Area Council, whose CEO Jim Wunderman serves on the WETA Board of Directors, has been advocating for years. The Council was instrumental in the creation of WETA and has helped secure the funding needed to purchase the new boats, build out the necessary shoreline infrastructure and pay for operations. To engage in the Council’s water transit policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Gwen Litvak.