San Francisco — The Bay Area Council’s vision for building an expansive regional water transit system connecting all corners of the Bay is picking up speed as the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) gets ready to open a new terminal in Richmond today with daily, weekday commuter service to San Francisco. The ribbon cutting comes less than one month after WETA christened the new Ron Cowan Central Bay Maintenance and Operations facility in Alameda, another key part of the expansion.
“Water transit is returning to the Bay Area in a big way,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council and Vice Chair of the WETA Board of Directors. “The new Richmond terminal will not only serve a growing demand for ferry service it will help spark important economic activity in the city.”
Wunderman will be on hand Thursday as WETA opens the gates to passengers at the new terminal near Craneway Pavilion. The Bay Area Council almost 20 years began working on the creation of a modern regional water transit system, partnering with ferry pioneer and Bay Area developer Ron Cowan and leaders including Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, Don Perata and Bill Lockyer. The Council helped develop the legislation creating WETA and its predecessor, the Water Transportation Authority, and led two regional ballot campaigns, including Regional Measure 3 last year, to provide funding for the expansion.
The Richmond service will launch with four daily roundtrips. WETA expects to serve 400 passengers initially and increase to up to 1,800 at full capacity. The Richmond terminal is part of a much larger expansion plan that will see the system grow from five routes and 12 vessels to 44 ferries operating on 12 routes, including new terminals in Mission Bay, Redwood City, Berkeley, Treasure Island and other locations in the South Bay and along the Carquinez Straight.
About the Bay Area Council
The Bay Area Council is a business-sponsored, public-policy advocacy organization for the nine-county Bay Area. The Council proactively advocates for a strong economy, a vital business environment, and a better quality of life for everyone who lives here. Founded in 1945, the Bay Area Council is widely respected by elected officials, policy makers and other civic leaders as the voice of Bay Area business. Today, more than 300 of the largest employers in the region support the Bay Area Council and offer their CEO or top executive as a member. Our members employ more than 4.43 million workers and have revenues of $1.94 trillion, worldwide. Learn more at www.bayareacouncil.org.