Ferry expansion approved 

The centerpiece of expanded ferry service in San Francisco steamed ahead with the approval of major contracts for the project.
The planned terminal, located at the Ferry Building on The Embarcadero, is the centerpiece for future ferry service plans on the Bay, with the downtown San Francisco location slated to act as a hub for 12 routes in the region, including a major project to connect with Treasure Island.

The Water Emergency Transportation Agency, which oversees ferry operations in the Bay Area, wants to triple ferry service during the next 25 years, serving up to 12 million passengers annually. To handle that capacity, it has proposed adding three new berthing facilities at the ferry terminal. Currently, the ferry terminal handles six daily routes, so WETA’s plans would double that service in the next 10 years.

On Thursday, WETA’s board of directors approved two contracts worth $2.9 million to conduct design and environmental review plans for expansion of the ferry terminal.

Of that total, $1.5 million will go to the URS Corp. to complete the environmental review of the project, and $1.4 million will go to the ROMA Design Group to complete a conceptual design of the new terminal. Funding for these studies will come from state bond money.

The design and environmental review studies are expected to take about two years to finish, and construction of the new berthing facilities at the Ferry Building isn’t expected to be complete until 2014 or 2015, according to Leamon Abrams, WETA spokesman. Projects like this typically cost $20 million to $25 million, Abrams said.

Once expansion plans are completed, the agency would oversee operations that connect San Francisco to terminals on the Peninsula, in Marin County and in the East Bay.

The biggest of the projects is the connection from the ferry terminal to Treasure Island, which one day is expected to serve as many as 14,000 passengers.


Bay ferry service

6 Routes currently entering San Francisco’s terminal

6 New routes proposed in next 10 years

$1.4 million Cost of environmental review approved Thursday

$1.5 million Cost of design study approved Thursday

$20M-25M Preliminary cost projection to expand terminal

2014-15 Preliminary completion projection of project

12 million Annual passengers projected on the Bay by 2025

Source: Water Emergency Transportation Agency

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