What is the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency transportation Authority (WETA)?
WETA was established by SB 976, and replaces the WTA (Water Transit Authority). The intention of SB 976 is to improve the ability of ferries to respond in an emergency. SB 1093 provides additional detail regarding WETA's mandate.
- Immediately after a disaster strikes, ferries will be critical to helping the Bay Area get back on its feet and keep the economy moving. When roads, bridges, or BART fail, waterways may be the only safe transportation option.
- If the Bay Area's bridges and BART are inaccessible, the Ferry Building in San Francisco could see over 300,000 passengers looking for ferry service. Current ferry infrastructure and equipment capabilities are not sufficient to adequately respond in an emergency.
- Better emergency response planning, consolidated ferry services and improved emergency response infrastructure will improve our region's emergency response capabilities.
What are WETA's first priorities?
- Create and adopt an Emergency Water Transportation System Management Plan for the Bay Area on or before July 1, 2009.
- Create and adopt, on or before July 1, 2009, a transition plan to facilitate the transfer of existing public transportation ferry services within the Bay Area region to WETA (with the exception of services operated by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District). In the preparation of the transition plan, priority shall be given to ensuring continuity in the programs, services, and activities of existing public transportation ferry services.
- Continue to deliver the Ferry Implementation and Operations Plan (WTA, July 2003) with a focus on building and operating a comprehensive and environmental friendly public water transit system of ferries, feeder buses and terminals to increase regional mobility in the Bay Area.
What are the key Emergency Response Activities?
- Develop Emergency Services Contracts with private ferry operators and agreements with publicly operated ferries to strengthen ferry coordination efforts.
- Effectively communicate emergency response procedures and the interoperability of vessels and terminals with Coast Guard and other ferry operators.
- Provide additional docking capacity, maintenance and fueling facility projects as funding becomes available.
What is the Proposed Ferry Expansion?
The proposed ferry expansion focuses on delivering new routes and facilities with identifiable funding sources such as new bridge toll revenues from Regional Measure 2 (passed by Bay Area voters in March 2004), local sales tax measures (San Francisco, Contra Costa and San Mateo), federal grants and farebox recovery and includes:
- Adding seven new routes and improving service on the existing ferry systems.
- Adding as many as 31 of these new passenger ferries to the existing fleet over the next ten years.
- Triple ferry patronage from four to twelve million commuters per year by 2025, drawing the majority of its riders from cars.
- Delivering new vessels that are ten times cleaner than existing ferries and 85% better than the EPA's emissions standards for 2007 marine engines.
- Providing better, convenient landside connections to terminals that will enhance ridership.
- Expanding of facilities at the San Francisco's Ferry Building.
What New Routes are Proposed?
See Map of Proposed Routes
- South San Francisco-Oakland
- Berkeley/Albany-San Francisco
- Treasure Island-San Francisco
- Redwood City-San Francisco
- Hercules-San Francisco
- Richmond-San Francisco
- Antioch/Martinez-San Francisco
WETA replaces the WTA, which was a regional agency authorized by the State of California to operate a comprehensive San Francisco Bay Area public water transit system. In 2003, the WTA's plan, " A Strategy to Improve Public Transit with an Environmentally Friendly Ferry System" was approved by statute (Senate Bill 915, Ch. 714, stats of 2003). WTA Implementation and Operations Plan (IOP)
How will the WETA operate the Bay Area water transit system?
- It will be a focused regional agency dedicated to safe, cost effective and environmentally responsible water transit.
- It will continue to invest in clean-marine technology, advanced vessel design, systems planning, safety and disaster response planning, ridership forecasting, terminal design and developing good connections with landside transit.
- It will be a resource to cities and private businesses in developing water transit oriented developments.