Four ferries in the San Francisco Bay Ferry fleet have much lower emissions thanks to an engine conversion project completed this spring.

The $5.5 million Gemini Class Conversion Project upgraded the engines and reduced emissions on the system’s four Gemini-class vessels (MV Gemini, MV Taurus, MV Scorpio and MV Pisces). The conversion to cleaner engines was completed over the course of the last year at JT Marine in Vancouver, Wash.

Funding for the Gemini class project came from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Carl Moyer grant program and proceeds from the Alameda County Transportation Commission’s Measure BB sales tax.  

The four vessels were built with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 2 engines about 15 years ago. The conversion project replaced those engines with U.S. EPA Tier 4 certified engines, the cleanest available. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions are 73 percent lower and particulate matter (PM) emissions are 80 percent lower on each of the four vessels.

The project continues work that WETA started in 2019 when the agency built the nation’s first high-speed passenger ferry with Tier 4 certified engines. Today, 12 of the 16 ferries in the San Francisco Bay Ferry fleet are powered by Tier 4 engines, making it the cleanest high-speed, high-capacity passenger ferry fleet in the nation.

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, WETA Board Chair Jim Wunderman, Air District/Alameda CTC Chair John J. Bauters and other local transportation leaders celebrated completion of the project at a ceremony in May. The Gemini class vessels primarily serve Oakland, Main St. Alameda, Richmond and South San Francisco terminals.


In July 2021, SF Bay Ferry fares were reduced by around 30%. That reduction was extended for another five years, with small annual 3% increases for regular service that start on July 1.

For standard adult tickets, this means a 10-cent increase on Zone 1 routes (Alameda Seaplane, Harbor Bay, Oakland & Alameda and Richmond), a 25-cent increase for the South San Francisco route and a 30-cent increase for the Vallejo route. Short Hop fares will not increase this year.

These increases are intended to make fare changes small and predictable, and to allow ferry service to remain comparable in cost to similar transit options.

Fares for special event service will increase 10-15% to help those services recover costs. WETA policy holds that special event service fares are designed to ensure those services pay for themselves.


San Francisco Bay Ferry will have some schedule changes related to the Independence Day Weekend.

We will operate on weekend schedules from Saturday, July 1 through Tuesday, July 4, 2023. That means that there will be no service on the Alameda Seaplane, Harbor Bay or South San Francisco routes on those days.

We will also offer a special post-fireworks trip from San Francisco to Oakland and Main St. Alameda on July 4. The ferry will leave Pier 41 at 10:45 PM and will depart Downtown San Francisco (Gate G) at 11 PM.

See full details about our Independence Day Weekend schedule.


We’re improving your rider experience by introducing new wayfinding signage at the Downtown S.F. Ferry Terminal. Improved terminal signage includes the introduction of an improved gate naming convention to help better define boarding queue lanes. As we update and improve terminal signage, please be aware that gate assignments have not changed.

We’re also introducing numbering to help better identify each queueing lane at each gate. Gate E is now split up into gates E1 and E2. Continue to board in the left queue lane (E1) for Vallejo departures. Continue to board in the right queue lane (E2) for all weekday Richmond departures.

Gate F is now split into gates F1 and F2. Continue to board in the left queue lane (F1) for Alameda Seaplane ferry departures. Board in the right queue lane (E2) for all Harbor Bay departures. For Richmond riders on weekends only, board in the right queue lane (F2).

Gate G is now renamed to G1. Continue to queue here for all departures for Oakland and Main St. Alameda. As we work to improve our signage, we hope that your experience both on board our vessels and at our terminals is even more of a breeze!

You should also start to notice real-time departure information showing up on electronic boards at some of our terminals, including Downtown S.F. and Alameda Seaplane. We’re finetuning the system to improve passenger information across all of our terminals. Stay tuned for more information on this enhancement.


Welcome back to Dock-tionary, where we help ferry fans learn how to speak boat. This month, we’re explaining that line you may see painted on the side of our vessels at the waterline – this is a watermark line.

The watermark line on a vessel is an important way to determine the stability of the vessel in the water. This painted line is marked on the hull of the vessel that separates the submerged section of the vessel from the section above the water level. You may not notice this painted line during boarding or alighting; however this helps to determine how the vessel and its haul are sitting in the water. A watermark line on a vessel should never be submerged under the water. If that happens, it means the boat is over its maximum capacity weight.

Understanding this important piece of information is critical, especially when boats are fully loaded with passengers. Additionally, there are two watermark lines per vessel (one on each side of the hull) and in addition to always staying above the waterline, these two lines should be the same distance above the water. When this is not the case, this signifies the load on board is uneven and could potentially make the boat unstable while in transit.

Watermark lines are just one of the many visual tools captains and crews use to make sure our ferries are a safe way to get across the Bay!


Spring is out in full force and now we have an even better way to enjoy the views on the ferry.

We recently stocked our vessels with ferry binoculars for riders to use as they cross the Bay. These binoculars are great for everyone and will no doubt turn your ferry ride into a sightseeing adventure! Next time you ride, make sure to ask for a pair from a crew member.


Why is SF Bay Ferry the best way to cross the bay?

No pollution or traffic!

What is your favorite ferry memory?

So many! But talking to the bartenders always makes for a good story.

How would you describe the atmosphere on the ferry?

Peaceful and clean.

What is your favorite ferry amenity?

The concession stand.

Describe San Francisco Bay Ferry in one word.


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