WETA expanding fleet with three ferries from Dakota Creek


The following is text of a news release from Pacific Power Group:

(KENT, Wash.) — The San Francisco Bay Area’s Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), which is facing massive ridership increases, is relying on Pacific Power Group to design, install and maintain the propulsion systems for its newest ferries.

The three new ferries that will go into service next year are part of WETA’s larger plan to expand its fleet to meet a ridership increase that is projected to be as much as 900 percent by 2035. Pacific Power Group, which has a long history of working with WETA and other ferry operators in the Bay Area, will not only design and install the propulsion systems in the newest ferries, but will increase its capability to service the entire ferry fleet in the in the San Francisco Bay. All three ferries will be powered by MTU Series 4000 engines.

“This is truly a cradle-to-grave relationship between PPG, MTU and WETA,” said Doug Schwedland, PPG’s vice president of the marine division. “We worked very closely as a team to ensure the propulsion system would be an ideal match for WETA’s needs — from fuel efficiency to reliability to environmental sensitivity.”

The three vessels are being built by Dakota Creek Industries of Anacortes, Wash. Each ferry will be fitted with two engines, two gearboxes, two propulsion shafts and a set of controls. The high-speed waterjet ferries can carry 445 passengers at a top speed of 34 knots.

The vessels are testing the latest generation MTU Series 4000 engines designed to meet Tier 4 Final regulations.

The first of the newest ferries, Pyxis, is expected to begin service early 2019, with Vela and Lyra coming later in the year. WETA currently runs a fleet of 13 fast ferries, 11 of which are powered by MTU, and serves 2 million travelers a year.

The three newest ferries are just the beginning for WETA, which expects to add 44 vessels by 2035 to meet a projected increase in ridership.

By Professional Mariner Staff