SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell announced on Thursday, April 12 that the Bay Area’s ferry fleet will ransition to renewable diesel, becoming the first region in the nation to adopt the environmentally-responsible fuel standard. The new ferry fuel will be comprised on organic elements such as vegetable oils and animal fats, which experts claim can reduce greenhouse gases.
“San Francisco is and always will be a leader in protecting our planet,” said Mayor Farrell in a statement. “As the federal administration fails to act on this crucial issue, San Francisco will be at the forefront of environmental leadership for the nation and the world. To protect our region and our environment, we are taking climate action now.”
According to a press release from the Mayor’s website, the switch could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 60 percent or more. San Francisco has collaborated with every level of government, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency, United States Department of Transportation, National Parks Service, California Air Resources Board, California Department of Agriculture and the California Coast Guard.
“San Francisco is not only a hub for knowledge of clean maritime transportation, it is one of action,” said Elaine Forbes, Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco. “At a time with increased water transit ridership, we are pleased to partner with our ferry and excursion providers to be on the forefront of climate action and environmental leadership for our City and nation.”
Several San Francisco ferry fleets have already made the move to renewables including the Red and White Fleet which transitioned in late 2017, as well as boats for the San Francisco Fire Department. The SF Port’s public fuel dock at Hyde Street Harbor has already made significant strides towards the renewable diesel.
According to the Mayor’s Office, Bay Area ferries and excursion providers, including Golden Gate Ferry, Hornblower Cruises, Blue and Gold, and Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) will begin the transition process through 2019.
“San Francisco has a world-class waterfront, and today, we are celebrating a world-class commitment to reducing fossil fuel use on our Bay,” said Debbie Raphael, Director of the San Francisco Department of Environment. “Transitioning our water fleet to renewable diesel demonstrates what’s possible when the public and private sector work together towards shared environmental goals. We can improve air quality and deliver high-quality, sustainable transportation options for everyone who lives, works, and visits San Francisco.”