Golden Gate Ferry

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Golden Gate Ferry
Golden Gate ferries at Larkspur Landing, November 2018.JPG
Four of the system's ferries at Larkspur Landing.
Locale San Francisco Bay Area
Waterway San Francisco Bay (North Bay)
Transit type Passenger ferry
Owner Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District
Operator Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District
Began operationAugust 15, 1970
No. of lines5
No. of vessels7
No. of terminals6
Daily ridership5,794 per weekday (FY 2020) [1]

Golden Gate Ferry is a commuter ferry service operated by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in the Bay Area of Northern California. Regular service is run to the Ferry Building in San Francisco from Larkspur, Sausalito, and Tiburon in Marin County, with additional service from Larkspur to Oracle Park and Chase Center. The ferry service is funded primarily by passenger fares and Golden Gate Bridge tolls.



Golden Gate Ferry began service in 1970 with the M.S. Golden Gate. [2] Service to Larkspur started in 1976. Service to Pacific Bell Park (now Oracle Park) started in 2000. Tiburon service began on March 6, 2017. [3] Service to Chase Center began in 2019 using an interim terminal located at Pier 48½. [4] A permanent Mission Bay terminal is expected to open in 2021 at the foot of 16th Street to replace the nearby interim Chase Center terminal. [5] [6]


Golden Gate Ferry headquarters at Larkspur Landing. Administration building at Larkspur Landing, November 2018.JPG
Golden Gate Ferry headquarters at Larkspur Landing.
Golden Gate Ferry
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Larkspur Landing
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Chase Center
via Pier 48
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Golden Gate Ferry operates regular passenger ferry service on three routes:

Limited service operates from Larkspur to Oracle Park for San Francisco Giants baseball home games and from Larkspur to Chase Center for Golden State Warriors basketball home games. Supplemental service is provided for special events. [7]

Service was reduced in March 2020 and is currently limited to weekdays only. The Larkspur route has seven round-trips, and the Sausalito and Tiburon routes have been combined with a total of two trips per direction to/from San Francisco. [8]

Fares and transfers

Golden Gate Ferry fares differ by route, passenger type, and method of payment. [9] As of July 1, 2021, fares are as follows:

Adult Single RideAdult Clipper Card Youth/Senior/Disabled/Medicare
Larkspur - Ferry Building$13.50$8.50$6.75
Sausalito - Ferry Building$14.00$7.50$7.00
Tiburon - Ferry Building$14.00$7.50$7.00
Larkspur - Chase Center$15.00
Larkspur - Oracle Park$15.00

Transfer discounts are available to/from Golden Gate Transit, Marin Transit, Muni, and SMART for Clipper card users.


The M.S. Sonoma crosses San Francisco Bay. Ferry-sonoma-MCB.jpg
The M.S. Sonoma crosses San Francisco Bay.

Golden Gate Ferry has a fleet of four catamarans and three monohull vessels. [10] All ferries are wheelchair accessible. The catamarans can carry 30 bicycles, and the monohull vessels can carry 150 bicycles. All ferries have restrooms and on-board refreshments, including a full bar.

The monohull vessels are named M.S. Marin, M.S. San Francisco, and M.S. Sonoma. The Marin can carry 750 passengers, and the San Francisco and Sonoma can carry 630 passengers each. They were purchased from Philip F. Spaulding & Associates in San Diego in 1976–1977. They were originally powered by gas turbine water jets but were converted to diesel engine propeller drives in 1983–1985. More efficient diesel engines were installed in 2001-2002. [11] The Marin was refurbished from November 2006 to July 2007. [12]

The catamarans are named the M.V. Del Norte, M.V. Golden Gate, M.V. Mendocino, and M.V. Napa. The Del Norte has a capacity of 400 passengers while the other three vessels have a capacity of 450 passengers. The 1998-built Del Norte and 2001-built Mendocino were built for Golden Gate Ferry to allow faster and more frequent service than the monohull ferries. The Napa (formerly Snohomish) and Golden Gate (formerly Chinook) were purchased from Washington State Ferries in January 2009. [13]

M.V. Millennium of Rhode Island Fast Ferry in service with Golden Gate Ferry in September 2019. MVMillenium SF 16Sep19a.jpg
M.V. Millennium of Rhode Island Fast Ferry in service with Golden Gate Ferry in September 2019.

In late 2018, Golden Gate Ferry reached an agreement to lease the MV Millennium from Rhode Island Fast Ferry for one year for $2.5 million. The Millennium allowed full service to continue while the Marin and Sonoma underwent major work and the other ferries received regular maintenance. [14] The Millennium remained in service until 2020 before returning to Rhode Island.

When the M.S. Golden Gate retired in 2004, she had made 42,108 round trips between Sausalito and San Francisco, carried 21 million passengers, and traveled nearly 1.3 million nautical miles (2,400,000 km; 1,500,000 mi). [15]

Related Research Articles

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Spare the Air program

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Larkspur Landing

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San Rafael Transit Center

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MV <i>Del Norte</i>

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MV <i>Mendocino</i>

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Tiburon Ferry Terminal

The Tiburon Ferry Terminal is a ferry landing for Golden Gate Ferry and Angel Island–Tiburon Ferry Company passenger ferries in Tiburon, California in the San Francisco Bay Area's North Bay. It connects commuters from Marin County with job centers in San Francisco across the San Francisco Bay to the Ferry Building. The terminal also provides tourist and recreational passenger service to the Ayala Cove Ferry Terminal on Angel Island State Park.

Larkspur station

Larkspur station is a Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) station in Larkspur, California. The terminal station opened to revenue service on December 14, 2019. It is located across Sir Francis Drake Blvd 13 mile (0.5 km) from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal.

Sausalito Ferry Terminal

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 of 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.

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  1. Statistics & Ridership
  3. "'Spiffy': Tiburon ferry riders welcome new service". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  4. Keeling, Brock (17 April 2019). "New ferry service coming to Mission Bay". Curbed. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  5. "Mission Bay Ferry Landing". Port of San Francisco. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  6. Rodriguez, Joe Fitzgerald (16 April 2019). "Who needs cars? Aggressive transit plan for Chase Arena discourages driving". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  7. "Golden Gate Bus & Ferry Services". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  8. "Ferry Schedules & Maps". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  9. "Ferry Fares & Payment". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  10. "Fleet". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  11. "History of Golden Gate Ferry Service". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and Transportation District. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  12. "Golden Gate Ferry Welcomes Back the M.S. Marin". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. 22 June 2007.
  13. "M.V. Napa Arrives in Larkspur May 11, 2009". Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. 11 May 2009.
  14. Rodriguez, Adrian (October 30, 2018). "Golden Gate Ferry leases extra boat to ease crunch". Marin Independent Journal.