City Releases Estuary Shuttle Survey

City of Alameda -- The travel route of the City of Alameda’s potential free Estuary water shuttle program.
City of Alameda -- The travel route of the City of Alameda’s potential free Estuary water shuttle program.

City Releases Estuary Shuttle Survey

The City of Alameda released a survey for residents to gather public input on a potential Oakland-Alameda Estuary public water shuttle. The current vision is for the water shuttle to travel between the foot of Fifth Street at Alameda Landing and the foot of Broadway at Jack London Square in Oakland. There are also plans to have a midday lunchtime service to Marina Village. The shuttle will be free. The potential water shuttle service is being planned by a partnership of public and private organizations and agencies, including the City of Alameda.

The plan is for the shuttle to start on a limited basis and grow over time. City staff hope the survey will give them feedback on what days and times the shuttle should operate. According to the City of Alameda Estuary website, it is anticipated that the service would operate two to five days a week and nine to 12 hours a day, depending on funding.

The city wants to run an initial three-month pilot program as early as this summer if funding is secured. However, the city has plans to run an extended pilot program.

“We actually have applied, almost a year ago, for grant funding to do a two-year pilot,” said City of Alameda Senior Transportation Coordinator Rochelle Wheeler at the April 10 Planning Board meeting. “That wouldn’t start until early next year. We’re waiting to hear on that grant funding, but the grant funding only would cover 25% of the project, 75% would be through private funds.”

At its meeting on June 21, 2022, City Council authorized city staff, in partnership with the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), to submit a grant application with the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) 2024 Comprehensive Investment Plan. The 25% for the two-year pilot is the maximum allowed under the grant. In the staff report, city staff projected the annual cost to operate a free weekday public water shuttle program to be between $1.4 and $1.9 million.

At the meeting, City Council agreed to allocate $150,000, $75,000 a year, if the ACTC grant is approved.

“This would be Measure B money,” said Alameda Transportation, Building, and Planning Coordinator Andrew Thomas. “This is money already allocated for transportation.”

The project will receive a matching $150,000 from Measure BB funds. The rest of the 75 percent needed would come from private funds from Oakland and Alameda businesses and nonprofits such as the Jack London Square Property Management Company, Blue Rise Venture (the owners of the Marina Village Business Park), the West Alameda Transportation Management Association, and the Alameda Transportation Management Association and more.

WETA, the transit agency that operates ferry services in the Bay Area, agreed to operate the water shuttle once it begins.

The shuttle would accommodate bicyclists. In 2009, the city’s Estuary Crossing Study recommended a water shuttle as the medium-term solution to closing the gap between Alameda and Oakland on the west end.

To take the survey, visit The survey deadline is April 23.

Oakland Estuary



$1.4m to $1.9m per year? Redirect that money and repair our city streets instead.