Bay Area to get another high-speed ferry

Dorado Drawing

The following is text of a news release from the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA):

(SAN FRANCISCO) — The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) board of directors has authorized the agency to exercise a $14.8 million build option for a second 300-passenger high-speed ferry from Mavrik Marine Inc. to support growth of San Francisco Bay Ferry service.

Mavrik Marine is currently building Dorado, a versatile ferry expected to join WETA’s fleet in 2020. WETA’s contract with Mavrik Marine, approved by the board of directors in October 2018, included an option for the procurement of a second identical ferry. The WETA board’s action amends the original contract to fund the second ferry.

“WETA is moving aggressively to rapidly expand San Francisco Bay Ferry capacity as opportunities become available,” said Nina Rannells, WETA’s executive director. “Our new vessels, including this second ferry from Mavrik Marine, will support our ability to deliver high-quality service on our current routes and help us to deliver service to new terminals expected to come online in the years to come.”

There are currently 15 ferries in San Francisco Bay Ferry service, with two additional vessels (445-passenger Lyra and 300-passenger Dorado) under construction and on track for 2020 completion. Solano, a 320-passenger ferry, is due for retirement and sale out of state at the end of 2019 due to state emissions rules.

When completed in 2021, the new vessel from Mavrik Marine will bring the fleet to 17 vessels and 6,000 total seats, both all-time highs.

WETA has added six new ferries with a combined 2,490 seats to its fleet since 2017. This vessel investment has allowed WETA to extend San Francisco Bay Ferry service to Richmond and add much-need capacity on the popular Vallejo, Alameda and Oakland routes. Ferry ridership has doubled since 2012.

The new vessel’s design, construction and delivery will be funded through a combination of State Proposition 1B grant funds, proceeds from the sale of recently retired ferries and State Transit Assistance funds.

Mavrik Marine Inc. is based in La Conner, Wash. Dorado is the first vessel that Mavrik Marine has built for WETA.

By Professional Mariner Staff