ferry

The Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) is aiming for the delivery of a new dock for harbor seals at Alameda Point as early as April, ahead of the start of construction of its new ferry maintenance facility this summer.

Because the maintenance facility’s new berthing dock would displace the seals’ current resting spot, a provision was approved for a new harbor seal dock as a condition for permitting the new facility. WETA, the City Council, and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) approved the provision at the urging of community activists.

An architect’s rendering for the now approved WETA ferry maintenance facility shows the building not far from where the USS Hornet is docked. This image looks to the west, away from the rest of the city and toward Seaplane Lagoon

A new ferry maintenance facility is coming to Alameda Point, but not everyone is thrilled. While all welcome the good-paying jobs it will bring to Alameda, some are saying the facility is in the wrong location, and others, including Mayor Trish Spencer, are saying the city’s planning process for the facility was not transparent.

News Analysis

The lease for the Water Emergency Transport Authority (WETA) ferry maintenance comes before the City Council on March 3. Readers have expressed concerns about the harbor seal haul-out currently at the site of the facility. Despite lobbying and verbal assurance from WETA that it will build a new harbor seal haul-out, no written memorandum of understanding on the harbor seals exists for the City Council to consider. The lengthy lease agreement does not even mention the seals. 

The Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) Board of Directors is holding its April Board meeting on Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m. at Alameda City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave., 3rd Floor. The meeting agenda will be available on the San Francisco Bay Ferry website on Friday, April 1. www.sanfranciscobayferry.com  

The city of Alameda Public Works Department held a community meeting to discuss staff recommended parking improvements on Adelphian Way and Mecartney Road Tuesday at Bay Farm Elementary School’s multipurpose room.

The city and the Water Emergency and Transportation Agency (WETA), the agency that runs the ferry service, have been working together to come up with a solution to provide more parking for ferry riders near the Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal. 

Managers of Alameda’s Harbor Bay and Main Street ferry services and city officials are hosting a pair of public hearings this month to gauge riders’ interest in increasing service and to discuss ways to improve access to both terminals.

The meetings are slated to take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 13, in the multipurpose room at Bay Farm Elementary, 200 Aughinbaugh Way, and from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 20, in the multipurpose room at Maya Lin School, 825 Taylor Ave.

Alameda could become key water transportation hub

Richard Bangert

A public hearing is scheduled next Monday evening, Jan. 6, in San Francisco to take comments on the proposed facility for the San Francisco Bay ferries at Alameda Point. At that time, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) Design Review Board will host its first hearing to determine if the project complies with its guidelines. These include ensuring maximum public shoreline access, preserving scenic views and enhancing the shoreline visual experience through appropriate design appearance.