Celebrating New Ferry

Nasim Khan Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, left center in red, and Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft hold the scissors in anticipation of cutting the ribbon to initiate ferry service at Seaplane Lagoon.

Celebrating New Ferry

Last Thursday, July 1, was the launch of the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Service. Ridership on the ferry to San Francisco was so successful pre-pandemic that the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) has increased the number of rides to/from the City, including a “late night ride” back to Alameda.

OK, it might not be that late — 10:20 p.m., but you can have a nice meal in the city and a spectacular ride back to Alameda. How romantic!

But wait, there’s more! Beginning in early August, AC Transit is launching a pilot bus line that serves the all-new Seaplane Lagoon Ferry.

Every ferry going to/from San Francisco during peak commute hours will be connected to this cross-island bus line. Line 78 will both get you to the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry in time for the ferry to San Francisco and back to Alameda for your return home. Line 78 will run from Fruitvale BART to Broadway, down Santa Clara Avenue to Webster, left onto Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway to the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry and then back to Fruitvale BART.

Here are the ferry times you can expect Line 78 to meet: Leaving Alameda Weekdays: 6:30 a.m.; 7 a.m.; 7:25 a.m.; 8:20 a.m.; 9:15 a.m. For the return from San Francisco, you can expect Line 78 for ferry arrivals of: 3:50 p.m.; 4:50 p.m.; 5:50 p.m.; 6:45 p.m.; 7:20 p.m. 8:45 p.m. and 10:40 p.m.

Still more! If you use your Clipper Card (and who doesn’t) when you get on the bus and then tag on to the Ferry, your bus ride will be free!

That means all you folks who have asked over and over again “Why is there no bus service to the ferry?” You have been heard — -at least for the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry.

There is a catch, so pay attention! This is a pilot program. That means AC Transit will be monitoring Line 78’s demand and ridership in the coming months, and that will help determine the future of this bus line.

Starting in the next few months, parking at the Seaplane Lagoon Terminal will cost you. No more free parking. AC Transit, WETA, and the City of Alameda are bending over backwards to make getting to the ferry without driving your car as attractive as possible.

But if we don’t use it, we’ll lose it!

Check out the Seaplane Lagoon and Main Street Ferry schedules here: https://sanfranciscobayferry.com/alameda-seaplane-ferry-route

Pat Potter sits on the BikeWalk Alameda board of directors and on Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda’s (CASA) transportation committee.