San Francisco Bay in California has been served by ferries of all types for over 150 years. John Reed established a sailboat ferry service in 1826.Although the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge led to the decline in the importance of most ferries, some are still in use today for both commuters and tourists.
One of the earliest ferry routes ran between San Francisco and Oakland on what was called the "creek route". The name derived from the Oakland landing site located at the foot of Broadway where Jack London Square is today, fronting on what is today called the Oakland Estuary, an inlet of San Francisco Bay. The estuary, which in the 1800s included what is today's Lake Merritt, was the "creek". In 1851,Captain Thomas Gray, grandfather of the famous dancer Isadora Duncan, began the first regular ferry service to San Francisco from the East Bay. Service started with the stern-wheel Sacramento River packet General Sutter and the small iron steam ferry Kangaroo. Service was augmented in 1852 by Caleb Cope, the small ferry Hector powered by a steam sawmill engine, and the river packets Jenny Lind and Boston. Boston burned that year and was replaced first by William Brown's San Joaquin River packet Erastus Corning and then by Charles Minturn's river packet Red Jacket. In 1853, Minturn formed the Contra Costa Steam Navigation Company and had the ferry Clinton built expressly for trans-bay service. A second ferry, Contra Costa began operating over the route in 1857. Contra Costa Steam Navigation Company acquired San Antonio Steam Navigation Company with ferries San Antonio and Oakland by merger before being purchased by the San Francisco and Oakland Railroad (SF&O) in 1865. Ferries continued operating along the Creek Route under railroad ownership until 1937.
The first railroad ferries on San Francisco Bay were established by the San Francisco and Oakland Railroad and the San Francisco and Alameda Railroad (SF&A), which were taken over by the Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR) in 1870 to become an integral part of the First transcontinental railroad. The earliest railroad ferries ran from Oakland Point and from Alameda Terminal when Alameda was still a peninsula. The ferry pier at Oakland Point was greatly enlarged to form the Oakland Long Wharf. These railroad ferries mostly carried passengers, not trains, although there was some ferrying of freight cars to San Francisco. When the Central Pacific re-routed the Sacramento to Oakland segment of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1876, a ferry across the Carquinez Strait was established, and the world's largest ferryboat, the Solano was built (later joined by a sister ferry, the slightly larger Contra Costa), to serve the crossing. This railroad ferry actually carried whole trains up to 48 freight cars or 24 passenger cars with their locomotives. These ferries became part of the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) when it assumed many of the facilities of its affiliate, the Central Pacific. These large train ferries were idled when a railway bridge was completed over the Carquinez Strait in November, 1930.
When trains reached Oakland, freight cars were loaded aboard ferries from Long Wharf on Oakland Point beginning in 1870. Freight car ferry loading switched to the Oakland Mole in 1881. After 1890 freight cars were delivered to the San Francisco Belt Railroad ferry slip at the foot of Lombard and East Streets. Belt Railroad tracks were later dual-gauged to also carry cars from the narrow gauge North and South Pacific Coast Railroads.
The Key System transit company established its own ferry service in 1903 between the Ferry Building in San Francisco and its own pier and wharf ("mole") on the Oakland shoreline, located just south of what is today the eastern approach to the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge.
Ferries began serving north bay rail connections with the Petaluma and Haystack Railroad in 1864. San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad (SF&NP) and Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad (P&SR)ferries connected Petaluma River landing locations with San Francisco. North Pacific Coast Railroad (NPC) ferries connected Sausalito with San Francisco, and SF&NP ferries later sailed from Tiburon. Some of these ferries operated on Northwestern Pacific Railroad (NWP) schedules from 1907 to 1938.
The Napa Valley Railroad established service in 1865 and connected with ferry boat service in Vallejo, California. Monticello Steamship Company began operating ferries between Vallejo and San Francisco in 1895, and began coordinating with train schedules in 1905. Golden Gate Ferry Company gained control of Monticello in 1927 and, after merging with Southern Pacific, discontinued ferry service to Vallejo in 1937.
Sacramento Northern Railway used a ferry to cross the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers between Mallard and Chipps. Service began in 1912 with the wooden ferry Bridgit carrying six interurban cars. Bridgit burned in 1913 and was replaced by the steel ferry Ramon with the same car capacity.
Santa Fe and Western Pacific (WP) both ran passenger ferries connecting their east bay terminals to San Francisco; but both discontinued ferry service in 1933. Southern Pacific maintained a dominant position in Bay ferry service by gaining control of the South Pacific Coast Railroad (SPC) ferries in 1887,the Northwestern Pacific ferries in 1929, and the Petaluma and Santa Rosa ferries in 1932. After the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1936 and 1937, Southern Pacific passenger ferry service was reduced to four routes: Ferry Building to Oakland Pier, Ferry Building to Alameda Pier, Hyde Street to Sausalito, and the Northwestern Pacific Ferry Building to Sausalito service. The route from Hyde Street to Sausalito was suspended in 1938 by order of the State Railroad Commission, the last ferry to Alameda ran in 1939, and the Ferry Building to Sausalito service ended February 1941. Many of the large passenger ferries were idled until World War II, when they were mobilized by the federal government to transport military personnel around the bay and shipyard workers from San Francisco to Marinship and Richmond Shipyards. The last Southern Pacific ferry ran between Oakland and San Francisco on 29 July 1958.
Although earlier ferries had carried teams and wagons, Melrose was launched in 1909 as the first San Francisco Bay ferry built with an unobstructed lower deck specifically intended for automobiles, and an upper deck for passengers. Southern Pacific ferries Melrose and Thoroughfare were designated to carry automobiles to and from San Francisco on the original Creek Route in 1911. Southern Pacific built new facilities to shift auto routing to the Oakland Pier in 1921 and purchased three new Six Minute ferries. In 1922, Golden Gate Ferry Company (GG) began transporting automobiles between Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco and Sausalito Ferry Terminal in Marin County. Southern Pacific purchased three more auto ferries with a ferry route linking San Francisco with a Richmond, California connection to the Lincoln Highway in 1925. Golden Gate established another route between Hyde Street and Berkeley Pier in 1927. Southern Pacific built six diesel-electric ferries and gained control of Golden Gate's Golden-prefix ferries to form the subsidiary Southern Pacific-Golden Gate Company in 1929. Another auto ferry pier operated at the foot of Broadway. Southern Pacific-Golden Gate auto ferries ceased operation shortly after the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge opened. Most of the ferries were sold for use in Puget Sound, but a few were purchased by the Richmond-San Rafael Ferry Company to shuttle automobiles between Richmond and San Rafael. This last surviving auto ferry route ended when the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge opened in 1956.
In 1914, a short-lived seaplane ferry ran between San Francisco and Oakland. From 1930 to 1933, a more successful trans-Bay seaplane ferry was operated by Air Ferries Ltd. It ran from Pier 5 on the San Francisco waterfront to a shoreline barge docked at the foot of Franklin Street along the Oakland Estuary. It also operated between San Francisco and Vallejo. A fatal accident in 1933 put an end to the service.
During the 1960s, SFO Helicopter transported passengers to and from the San Francisco and Oakland airports from various locales around the bay, including the San Francisco waterfront and the Berkeley Marina. After ceasing operations in the 1970s it briefly resumed service in 1983 before going out of business in 1986.
With the abandonment of the last railroad ferries, there was a brief period 1958-1962 with no commuter ferry service at all on the Bay (though tourist-oriented service to Angel Island began in 1959). In March 1962 Red & White Fleet, then known as Harbor Carriers, started commute-hour ferry service from Tiburon to the San Francisco Ferry Building. During a strike by Harbor Carriers employees in 1969, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District chartered a boat to provide replacement service; the success of this experiment led the District to establish Golden Gate Ferry and begin operating service from Sausalito to the Ferry Building in 1970. Today Golden Gate Ferry operates operates modern high speed ferryboats between San Francisco and four different landings in Marin County.
In 1973 Alcatraz Island opened to the public as a museum and ferry service from San Francisco began under a concession granted by the National Park Service.
The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake caused a section of the Bay Bridge road deck to collapse, closing it to all traffic. In response, ferry service was quickly set up between piers in Oakland and Alameda and San Francisco (following almost the same path as the 19th-century "creek route" ferries). This service continued to operate with sponsorship from the City of Alameda and Port of Oakland after the bridge reopened the following month.
In 2011 the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) was set up to take over the Oakland/Alameda route and other routes between San Francisco and the East Bay, forming the San Francisco Bay Ferry system; over the following decade it added several additional routes. as of 2022 [update] .WETA contracts with the private Blue & Gold Fleet for the operation of these services. Blue & Gold additionally operates its own tourist-oriented ferry and sightseeing services; together these make the company the largest ferry transportation provider in the Bay Area
|Terminals||Current operator||Year begun||Service notes|
|Sausalito||↔||San Francisco Ferry Building||Golden Gate Ferry||1970|
|Sausalito||↔||San Francisco Pier 41||Blue & Gold Fleet||1982||Mid-day hours only|
|Tiburon||↔||San Francisco Ferry Building||Golden Gate Ferry||1962|
|Angel Island||↔||San Francisco Ferry Building||Golden Gate Ferry||2021|
|Angel Island||↔||Tiburon||Angel Island–Tiburon Ferry||1959||Weekend-only in winter|
|Larkspur||↔||San Francisco Ferry Building||Golden Gate Ferry||1976|
| Mare Island and|
|↔||San Francisco Ferry Building||San Francisco Bay Ferry||1986|
|Richmond||↔||San Francisco Ferry Building||San Francisco Bay Ferry||2019|
|Berkeley||↔|| San Francisco Pier 1½ and|
San Francisco Pier 52
|Tideline||2017||Thursdays only, commute hours only|
|Treasure Island||↔||San Francisco Ferry Building||Prop SF||2022|
| Alameda Main Street and|
Oakland Jack London Square
|↔||San Francisco Ferry Building||San Francisco Bay Ferry||1989|
| Alameda Main Street and|
Oakland Jack London Square
|↔||South San Francisco||San Francisco Bay Ferry||2012||Weekday commute hours only|
|Alameda Seaplane Lagoon||↔||San Francisco Ferry Building||San Francisco Bay Ferry||2021||Weekdays only|
|Alameda Harbor Bay||↔||San Francisco Ferry Building||San Francisco Bay Ferry||1992||Weekdays only|
|San Francisco Pier 41||↔||San Francisco Ferry Building||San Francisco Bay Ferry||2021||Weekends only|
|Alcatraz Island||↔||San Francisco Pier 33||Hornblower Cruises||1973|
|FY*||San Francisco Bay Ferry||Golden Gate Ferry|
|Harbor Bay||Richmond||South San Francisco||Vallejo/|
|Name||Operator||In Service||Retired||Gross Tons||Length (feet)||Horse- power||Notes|
|Alameda||SF&A / CPRR / SP||1866||1898||813||193||350||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|Alameda||SP||1914||1943||2302||273||2500||side-wheel passenger ferry; sold to USN as YHB-25 after wartime shipyard service|
|Alvira||Davie||1889||1916||469||144||200||stern-wheel passenger ferry|
|Amador||CPRR / SP||1869||1904||985||199||300||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|Antelope||SF&NP||1871||1888||581||202||side-wheel passenger ferry built 1848|
|Bay City||SPC / SP||1878||1929||1283||230||800||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|Bridgit||Sacramento Northern Railway||1912||1913||186||interurban car ferry|
|Calistoga||Monticello / GG / SP||1907||1939||2680||298||2600||built as Florida; rebuilt as auto ferry in 1927; sold to USN as YFB-21|
|Capital||CPRR / SP||1876||1896||1989||277||900||side-wheel passenger ferry: Steamboat built in 1866 by John Gunder North for the California Steam Navigation Company; on the Sacramento - San Francisco run until 1876. : 125|
|Cazadero||NS / NWP||1903||1941||1682||257||1600||converted to barge in 1941|
|City of Long Beach|
|City of Sacramento||Monticello / GG / SP||1918||1941||3016||297||5900||auto ferry; sold to Puget Sound Navigation; requisitioned for wartime shipyard service to Richmond yard 2|
|Clinton||Contra Costa / NPC||1853||1877||194||128||125||side-wheel passenger ferry; sunk in collision in 1877; built by Domingo Marcucci : 15|
|Contra Costa||Contra Costa / SF&A / NPC||1857||1882||449||170||150||side-wheel passenger ferry, built by John G. North : 127–128, 135|
|Contra Costa||SP||1914||1930||Carquinez Strait train ferry|
|El Capitan||CPRR / SP||1868||1925||982||194||250||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|El Paso||SP / Richmond-San Rafael||1924||1956||1953||234||1400||auto ferry transferred from SP service in 1938|
|Encinal||SP||1888||1930||2014||245||1000||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|Eureka||NWP / SP||1923||1957||2420||277||1500||Steam engine side-paddle ferry; Vessel originally built in 1890 as the railway ferry Ukiah with capacity for 10 freight cars; conversion to a passenger ferry began in 1922 & was completed in 1923; after being converted to passenger use, "Ukiah" was renamed "Eureka"; preserved at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park|
|Feather River||WP||1913||1933||1578||218||2500||built as Edward T. Jeffery; sold to SP as Sierra Nevada in 1933|
|Fresno (now MV Willapa)||SP||1927||1940||2468||243||1800||diesel auto ferry|
|Garden City||SPC / SP||1879||1929||1080||208||625||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|USAT General Frank M. Coxe||United States Army||1922||1947||539||144||military personnel ferry|
|General Frisbie||Monticello||1901||1927||passenger ferry|
|Gold||P&SR||1903||1920||334||140||200||stern-wheel passenger & freight ferry built in 1883; burned 8 November 1920|
|Gold||P&SR / NWP||1921||1935||317||155||150||stern-wheel passenger & freight ferry built as Fort Bragg in 1899|
|Golden Age||GG / SP||1928||1937||779||227||1200||diesel auto ferry|
|Golden Bear||GG / SP||1927||1937||779||227||1200||diesel auto ferry|
|Golden Coast||GG / SP||1903||1937||616||175||1200||auto ferry built as Yerba Buena; then Harry E. Speas|
|Golden Dawn||Key /GG / SP||1905||1937||612||180||2000||former Key System passenger ferry San Francisco rebuilt as auto ferry|
|Golden Era||Key / GG / SP||1908||1937||673||194||2000||former Key System passenger ferry Fernwood rebuilt as auto ferry|
|Golden Gate||GG / SP||1922||1937||598||207||1300||diesel auto ferry|
|Golden Poppy||GG / SP||1927||1937||779||227||1200||diesel auto ferry|
|Golden Shore||GG / SP||1927||1937||779||227||1200||diesel auto ferry|
|Golden State||GG / SP||1926||1937||780||227||1200||diesel auto ferry|
|Golden Way||Key / GG / SP||1907||1937||1138||189||2000||former Key System passenger ferry Claremont rebuilt as auto ferry|
|Golden West||GG / SP||1923||1937||594||214||1300||diesel auto ferry|
|Grace Barton||Whitney||1890||1916||194||100||60||stern-wheel passenger ferry|
|Hayward||Key||1945||requisitioned for wartime shipyard service|
|James M. Donahue||SF&NP / NWP||1875||1921||730||228||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|Jenny Lind||Gray||1850||1853||61 : 139||Wrecked by an explosion on April 13, 1853. : 139|
|Klamath||SP / Richmond-San Rafael||1924||1956||1952||234||1300||auto ferry transferred from SP service in 1938|
|Lagunitas||NS / NWP||1903||1921||767||280||400||stern-wheel freight car ferry (capacity 8 freight cars)|
|Las Plumas||WP||1957||diesel railcar ferry|
|Lake Tahoe||SP||1927||1940||2468||243||1800||diesel auto ferry|
|Louise||SF&O / CPRR||1870||1877||368||148||125||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|Mare Island||Berkeley||1870||1877||338||124||125||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|Marin||SF&NP / NWP||1909||1934||101||97||passenger ferry built as Requa and renamed after repairing fire damage in 1911|
|Melrose||SP||1909||1931||2662||273||1340||side-wheel auto ferry|
|Mendocino||NWP||1927||1939||2467||243||1800||diesel auto ferry|
|Napa Valley||Monticello / GG / SP||1910||1940||2185||231||2600||auto ferry|
|Newark||SPC / SP||1877||1923||1783||268||1200||side-wheel passenger ferry rebuilt as Sacramento in 1923|
|New Orleans||SP||1924||1938||1952||234||1400||auto ferry sold as Russian River in 1938|
|Oakland||San Antonio / Contra Costa / SF&O / CPRR||1859||1874||418||200||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|Oakland||CPRR / SP||1875||1940||1672||265||200||side-wheel passenger ferry built as a side-wheel steamboat Chrysopolis in 1860, by John G. North; rebuilt as a double ended ferry-boat in 1875 by Patrick Henry Tiernan; : 151 destroyed by fire in 1940. : 34–40, 136, 142|
|Ocean Wave||Santa Fe||1901||1933|
|Peralta||Key||1926||1933||passenger ferry; burned 6 May 1933|
|Petaluma||P&SR||1884||1914||264||135||250||stern-wheel passenger & freight ferry built as Resolute in 1884; burned 22 March 1914|
|Petaluma||P&SR / NWP||1914||1935||448||148||250||stern-wheel passenger & freight ferry built in 1914 using the engine of the burned ferry Petaluma|
|Piedmont||SP||1883||1940||1854||257||257||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|Ramon||Sacramento Northern||1913||1954||600||interurban car ferry|
|Ranger||Chipman & Aughinbaugh||1853||1854||29||passenger ferry destroyed by boiler explosion 8 January 1854|
|Redwood Empire||NWP||1927||1939||2470||243||1800||diesel auto ferry|
|Russian River||Richmond-San Rafael||1938||1956||1952||234||1400||former auto ferry New Orleans purchased in 1938|
|Sacramento||SP||1923||1954||2254||268||1400||side-wheel passenger ferry rebuilt from Newark in 1923|
|San Antonio||San Antonio / Contra Costa / SF&O||1858||1871||659||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|San Leandro||Key / SP||1923||1958||1653||225||1325||passenger ferry requisitioned for wartime shipyard service and then to United States Army|
|San Mateo||SP||1922||1940||1782||217||1400||auto ferry|
|San Pablo||Santa Fe||1900||1933||1535||passenger ferry|
|San Pedro||Santa Fe||1911||1933||1720||passenger ferry; became USN YFB-46|
|San Rafael||NPC||1877||1901||692||220||side-wheel passenger ferry sunk in collision in 1901|
|Santa Clara||SP||1915||1945||2282||273||2500||side-wheel passenger ferry requisitioned for wartime shipyard service to Marinship|
|Santa Rosa||NWP||1927||1939||2465||243||1800||diesel auto ferry|
|Saucelito||NPC||1877||1884||692||220||side-wheel passenger ferry burned at San Quentin in 1884|
|Sausalito||NPC / NS / NWP||1894||1932||1766||256||1200||side-wheel freight car and passenger ferry|
|Sehome||Monticello||1909||1918||passenger ferry built as stern-wheel Mountain Queen in 1877; rebuilt with side-wheel propulsion in 1889; rebuilt with propeller in 1914; sunk in collision with General Frisbie|
|Sierra Nevada||SP / Richmond-San Rafael||1933||1956||1578||218||2500||formerly WP passenger ferry Feather River purchased 1933; requisitioned for wartime shipyard service to Richmond yard 1; converted to auto ferry when sold by SP in 1947|
|Solano||CPRR / SP||1879||1930||484||Carquinez Strait train ferry|
|Sophie MacLane||SF&A||1858||1864||242||148||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|Stockton||SP||1927||1940||2467||243||1800||diesel auto ferry|
|Tamalpais||NPC||1857||1900||365||150||side-wheel passenger ferry built as Petaluma of Saucelito|
|Tamalpais||NPC / NS / NWP||1901||1941||1631||245||1800||side-wheel passenger ferry; sold to USN in 1941 as floating barracks at Mare Island|
|Thoroughfare||CPRR / SP||1871||1909||1012||248||400||side-wheel freight car ferry (capacity 18 cars)|
|Thoroughfare||SP||1912||1935||2604||273||1300||side-wheel auto ferry|
|Tiburon||SF&NP / NWP||1884||1925||1248||240||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|Transit||CPRR / SP||1875||1934||1566||314||500||side-wheel freight car ferry (capacity 20 cars)|
|Washoe||SF&O / CPRR||1864||1878||580||250||side-wheel passenger ferry|
|Yerba Buena||Key||requisitioned for wartime shipyard service to Richmond yard 3 and then to United States Army|
Several ferries that had seen service on San Francisco Bay were relocated after the bay bridges were built. Yosemite was sold to the Argentina-Uruguayan Navigation Touring Company, renamed Argentina, and served a route crossing the Rio de la Plata. Seventeen were purchased by the Puget Sound Navigation Company:
Golden West was promptly resold to San Diego and renamed North Island for service between San Diego and Coronado. Golden Bear was salvaged for parts after being damaged when a towline parted off the Oregon coast on 15 November 1937. The others went on to serve in the waters of northwestern Washington and southwestern British Columbia. After serving seven years as Elwha, Golden Shore was sold to San Diego in 1944 and renamed Silver Strand on the San Diego-Coronado route.The City of Sacramento operated on the Seattle-Bremerton route in the 1940s, then on the Horseshoe Bay-Nanaimo route from 1952 to 1963 as the MV Kahloke , and finally on the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale route from 1964 to 1976 as the MV Langdale Queen . The Peralta, rebuilt as the MV Kalakala, operated on various Puget Sound crossings and on the Seattle-Victoria-Port Angeles route. The City of Long Beach, renamed the City of Angeles, operated out of Port Angeles and the Stockton, which became the Klickitat , operated on the Keystone-Port Townsend route until 2007. Mendocino (renamed Quinault) and Redwood Empire (renamed Nisqually) were retired in 2003 and scrapped in 2009. Santa Rosa was renamed Enetai, returned to San Francisco Bay in 1968, and is preserved at Pier 3.
Eureka is a side-wheel paddle steamboat, built in 1890, which is now preserved at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in San Francisco, California. Originally named Ukiah to commemorate the railway's recent extension into the City of Ukiah, the boat was built by the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad Company at their Tiburon yard. Eureka has been designated a National Historic Landmark and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 24, 1973.
The San Francisco Ferry Building is a terminal for ferries that travel across the San Francisco Bay, a food hall and an office building. It is located on The Embarcadero in San Francisco, California and is served by Golden Gate Ferry and San Francisco Bay Ferry routes.
The Niles Canyon Railway (NCRy) is a heritage railway running on the first transcontinental railroad alignment through Niles Canyon, between Sunol and the Niles district of Fremont in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, in California, United States. The railway is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Niles Canyon Transcontinental Railroad Historic District. The railroad is operated and maintained by the Pacific Locomotive Association which preserves, restores and operates historic railroad equipment. The NCRy features public excursions with both steam and diesel locomotives along a well-preserved portion of the First transcontinental railroad.
Berkeley was one of several ferryboats of the Southern Pacific Railroad that for sixty years operated on San Francisco Bay between the Oakland Pier and the San Francisco Ferry Building. Built in 1898 by the Union Iron Works of San Francisco, she served after the 1906 earthquake, ferrying refugees across the bay to Oakland.
The Northwestern Pacific Railroad is a regional shortline railroad utilizing a 62 mi (100 km) stretch of the 271 mile mainline between Schellville and Windsor with freight and Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) commuter trains. Formerly, it was a regional railroad primarily used for logging that served the entire North Coast of California, with a main line running 271 miles (436 km) from Schellville to Eureka, along with an additional portion of the line running from the Ignacio Wye to the edge of San Rafael. The "Southern End" of the line, including Schellville to Willits and from Ignacio to San Rafael is owned by SMART, while the "Northern End" was formally owned and managed by the now-dissolved North Coast Railroad Authority but is now saved for use in California's 2018 Great Redwood Trail Act, which repurposes the unused railroad right-of-way from Eureka to Willits for future use as the Great Redwood Trail.
The Berkeley Pier is in Berkeley, California. When constructed in 1926, the pier extended 3.5 miles (5.6 km) into San Francisco Bay from the end of University Avenue. Due to extensive filling of the bay and the creation of the Berkeley Marina, it presently extends only 2.5 miles (4.0 km). Since 1937, only the first 3,000 feet (910 m) were maintained and open to the public until July 2015, when public access was closed due to safety concerns.
The Hyde Street Pier, at 2905 Hyde Street, is a historic ferry pier located on the northern waterfront of San Francisco, California.
The Oakland Long Wharf was an 11,000-foot railroad wharf and ferry pier along the east shore of San Francisco Bay located at the foot of Seventh Street in West Oakland. The Oakland Long Wharf was built, beginning 1868, by the Central Pacific Railroad on what was previously Oakland Point. Beginning November 8, 1869, it served as the west coast terminus of the First transcontinental railroad. In the 1880s, Southern Pacific Railroad took over the CPRR, extending it and creating a new ferry terminal building with the official station name Oakland Pier. The entire structure became commonly and popularly called the Oakland Mole. Portions of the Wharf lasted until the 1960s. The site is now part of the facilities of the Port of Oakland, while passenger service runs to the nearby Jack London Square/Dellums Station
The South Pacific Coast Railroad (SPC) was a 3 ft narrow gauge steam railroad running between Santa Cruz, California and Alameda, with a ferry connection in Alameda to San Francisco. The railroad was created as the Santa Clara Valley Railroad, founded by local strawberry growers as a way to get their crops to market in San Francisco and provide an alternative to the Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1876, James Graham Fair, a Comstock Lode silver baron, bought the line and extended it into the Santa Cruz Mountains to capture the significant lumber traffic coming out of the redwood forests. The narrow-gauge line was originally laid with 52-pound-per-yard (26 kg/m) rail on 8-foot (2.44 m) redwood ties; and was later acquired by the Southern Pacific and converted to 4 ft 8+1⁄2 instandard gauge.
Blue & Gold Fleet is a privately owned company in the United States providing ferry services in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. It operates the San Francisco Bay Ferry commuter ferry system under contract with WETA. Blue & Gold also operates tourist and excursion services under its own brand from Pier 41 in San Francisco, with midday ferry service to Sausalito and a variety of tourist routes. The company is the Bay Area's largest ferry transportation provider and carries approximately 4 million passengers annually.
Golden Gate Ferry is a commuter ferry service operated by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in San Francisco Bay, part of the Bay Area of Northern California, United States. Regular service is run to the Ferry Building in San Francisco from Larkspur, Sausalito, Tiburon, and Angel Island in Marin County, with additional service from Larkspur to Oracle Park and Chase Centert. The ferry service is funded primarily by passenger fares and Golden Gate Bridge tolls. In 2021, Golden Gate Ferry had a ridership of 310,900, or about 3,500 per weekday as of the second quarter of 2022.
San Francisco Bay Ferry is a public transit passenger ferry service in the San Francisco Bay, administered by the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA). In 2021, the system had a ridership of 759,900, or about 4,500 per weekday as of the second quarter of 2022.
The Richmond–San Rafael Ferry Company (originally Richmond–San Rafael Ferry and Transportation Company was a ferry service between Castro Point in Richmond, California in Contra Costa County and San Quentin in Marin County across the San Pablo Bay. It ran from 1915 until the 1956 opening of the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge.
The San Francisco and Oakland Railroad (SF&O) was built in 1862 to provide ferry-train service from a San Francisco ferry terminal connecting with railroad service through Oakland to San Antonio. In 1868 Central Pacific Railroad decided that Oakland would be the west coast terminus of the First transcontinental railroad and bought SF&O. Beginning November 8, 1869, part of the SF&O line served as the westernmost portion of the transcontinental railroad. It subsequently was absorbed into the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP). The track in Oakland was electrified in 1911 and extended across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 1939. Service was abandoned in 1941.
The San Francisco and Alameda Railroad (SF&A) was a short-lived railroad company in the East Bay area of the San Francisco Bay Area. The railroad line opened 1864–1865 from Alameda Terminal on Alameda Island to Hayward, California, with ferry service between Alameda Terminal and San Francisco started in 1864. After being bankrupted by the 1868 Hayward earthquake, it was acquired by a subsidiary of the Central Pacific Railroad in August 1869. Part of the SF&A line between Alameda Terminal and San Leandro served as a portion of the First transcontinental railroad starting in September 1869, while the southern section was abandoned in 1873.
The Western Pacific Railroad (1862-1870) was formed in 1862 to build a railroad from Sacramento, California, to the San Francisco Bay, the westernmost portion of the First transcontinental railroad. After the completion of the railroad from Sacramento to Alameda Terminal on September 6, 1869, and then the Oakland Pier on November 8, 1869, which was the Pacific coast terminus of the transcontinental railroad, the Western Pacific Railroad was absorbed in 1870 into the Central Pacific Railroad.
Sierra Nevada was a steel-hulled steam-powered passenger ferry operated on San Francisco Bay. The ferry was built for the Western Pacific Railroad as Edward T. Jeffery in 1913 and subsequently renamed Feather River. The ferry offered connecting service to San Francisco for Western Pacific train passengers arriving in Oakland, California. The ferry was sold to Southern Pacific Transportation Company when Western Pacific began using Southern Pacific's Oakland ferry facilities in May, 1933. Southern Pacific renamed the ferry Sierra Nevada and placed it in commuter service between San Francisco and Alameda, California until that route was discontinued in 1939. The ferry was leased to the Key System for the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island from 1939 through 1940. In 1942, the ferry was requisitioned by the federal government to carry shipyard workers from San Francisco to Richmond Yard 1 through World War II. The Richmond-San Rafael Ferry Company purchased the ferry in 1947 and rebuilt it to carry automobiles between Richmond and San Rafael until the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge opened on 1 September 1956. The ferry was then towed to San Pedro, Los Angeles where she sank in 1978.
The South San Francisco Ferry Terminal is the only operating ferry terminal in San Mateo County, California. Boats are operated by San Francisco Bay Ferry and connect the city of South San Francisco to the Oakland Ferry Terminal in Jack London Square as well as Alameda, California. Construction began in 2009 and ferry service started on June 4, 2012. While ferry service between San Francisco and ports to the south existed as far south as San Jose/Alviso during the 1800s, most passengers to Peninsula destinations took the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad after it was completed in 1864 as part of the transcontinental railway.
Sausalito Ferry Terminal is a ferry terminal in Sausalito, California, connecting Marin County and San Francisco. The station is served by Golden Gate Ferry and Blue & Gold Fleet ferries as well as Golden Gate Transit and Marin Transit bus routes.
Golden Gate Ferry Company was a private company which operated automobile ferries between San Francisco, Berkeley and Sausalito before the opening of the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. The company was incorporated in November 1920. The ferry went bankrupt at the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge, but with the start of World War 2 the demand for service was so great it started again. Ferry service started just one year after closing to ferry shipyard workers to the Marinship and Kaiser Shipyards shipyard in San Francisco. But after the war, service was discontinued again. In early 1929, the Golden Gate Ferry Company merged with the ferry system of the Southern Pacific railroad, becoming the Southern Pacific-Golden Gate Ferries, Ltd.