Magazine article Sunset

Last Days for the Bay Ferries?

Magazine article Sunset

Last Days for the Bay Ferries?

Article excerpt

The East Bay ferries put into service when the October earthquake closed the Bay Bridge are expected to continue running at least through February (and perhaps longer), but service could be discontinued at any time if funding isn't approved. As well as being a great way to commute, they're a romantic, old-fashioned way to see the East Bay. Before planning a trip, though, call Red & White Fleet's recorded schedule at (800) 445-8880 inside California, (415) 546-2628 outside.

Immediately after the quake, boats were rushed from Catalina Island and Puget Sound to pitch in with new transbay routes from San Francisco to Alameda, Berkeley, Oakland, and Richmond.

Seeing the ferries docked each night at the foot of San Francisco's Market Street is like turning the clock back 50 years.

Some groups are lobbying to make the four new routes permanent. For information, call Bay Organization for Aquatic Transit (BOAT) at (415) 832-2628.

Ferries listed here run daily, departing from San Francisco's Ferry Building. All offer full snack and beverage bars. On all but the Vallejo ferry, fares are $2.50 one way, free for ages under 6, and bikes are free, space permitting.

To Oakland. Ride either the 750-passenger Catalina Monarch or Empress, identical diesel-engine, monohull craft scheduled to return to their Catalina routes after June. They have three decks-two enclosed-as well as televisions for scanning news and traffic reports.

The 30-minute trip chugs you past Yerba Buena Island, the Oakland shipyards, and along the estuary (some trips include a stop in Alameda). Ferries dock at Jack London Waterfront, formerly called Jack London Square-partially renovated with restaurants and a new 1 1/2-mile path along the water; shops (many still unoccupied) and a fishing dock are nearby.

To Alameda. Ride either the Catalina Empress or Monarch. …

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