SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Bay Ferry is considering lowering their prices and adding new routes to its services as a way to develop business. The change is being considered for at least a year with new off-peak trips being added. Fare reductions range from 7 percent to 20 percent off of current fares.
On Sunday, March 7, the Ferry’s Executive Director, Seamus Murphy, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “We don’t want to sit back and hope and wait for riders to return.”
San Francisco Bay Ferry estimates a loss in revenue of $37 million for the fiscal year of 2020 as ridership is at less than 10 percent after the pandemic’s stay at home orders took effect last March. The service had to cut down their routes down from five to three and no longer have weekend services. The SF Bay Ferry received $23.7 million in federal relief that have helped keep the business going as it struggles. They are expected to receive $13.5 million in March and more from the American Rescue Plan which will be crucial for this new plan to take effect. “We want to really aggressively become relevant again to a ridership that might look a whole lot different than pre-pandemic ridership,” said Murphy.
The San Francisco Bay Ferry will be holding a virtual open house on Tuesday, March 16, to receive public input on the potential changes before the board vote takes place on April 1. If the changes are approved, they will take effect in July 2021. The agency is also pushing to open a station in Alameda to help streamline their Oakland-San Francisco route.