Water Emergency Transportation Authority

The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) announced that the Ron Cowan Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility at Alameda Point will soon begin operations. WETA broke ground for the project in September 2016 (“Ferry Facility Dedicated,” Sept. 22, 2016). The late Ron Cowan was on hand for dedication of the building that bears his name. 

 

Ferry riders at the Alameda Main Street Terminal will soon be boarding the MV Hydrus, the cleanest running 400 passenger ferry in the world. The state-of-the-art ferry is designed for quicker on-boarding and off-boarding, faster speeds, low noise and vibration, and low emissions. The bicycle storage capacity will be more than doubled to 50 from the current capacity of 20 on the MV Encinal, which it will replace.

 

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) issued a new regional planning document on Aug. 30, with suggested housing numbers to meet state goals. MTC is requesting input from local jurisdictions. 

A draft response from City Planner Andrew Thomas slams the commission’s recommendations as being woefully out of touch with Alameda’s limited regional transit connections.

 

The rain ended, the sun came out, and so did the harbor seals at Alameda Point. So many of them came out of the water to warm up on their new float on Jan. 5, hardly any of the structure was visible. The regional ferry agency installed the new float after removing an old Navy dock used by the seals, in order to make way for a ferry maintenance facility. 

 

Facing growing demand for ferry service, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority’s (WETA) board of directors authorized the purchase of two more 400-passenger ferry vessels at its Oct. 6 meeting. 

WETA previously ordered two ferries that are scheduled for delivery in 2017. The new order is for identical vessels from the same company, Vigor Kvichak LLC, with delivery set for the end of 2018.

 

A new cement float for harbor seals was delivered to Alameda Point on June 22. Seals had been staying on the existing, familiar wooden dock. On Monday, July 11, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), the Bay Area’s ferry agency, removed that dock in preparation for building its maintenance facility.

If the seals decide to stay in the harbor, they will have to adapt to the new structure. As of the morning of Tuesday, July 12, four seals were already on the new float, a promising development.

 

A representative from the city of Alameda will discuss details of the proposed Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal plan in front of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) next Tuesday, June 7.

Alameda Point CEO Jennifer Ott will lead a collaborative that includes a representative from the Water Emergency Transportation Authority and two marine design teams, to give a presentation about the project in front of BCDC’s design review board. 

The Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) board of directors will be discussing ferry issues related to Alameda Ferry Service at 7 p.m., next Thursday, April 7, in the Council Chambers at City Hall. 2263 Santa Clara Ave.

WETA operates ferries around the San Francisco Bay, serving the cities of South San Francisco, Vallejo, Alameda and Oakland. To learn more, visit: http://sanfranciscobayferry.com/weta.