Maiden voyage for new commuter ferries

Rush hour traffic from the East Bay to the Peninsula could be getting a bit of relief now that weekday commuters have the option of traveling by sea.

Today marked the opening run for new transbay services from Oakland and Alameda to Oyster Point Marina in South San Francisco. Ferry passengers can expect to get to San Mateo County from the other side of The Bay in roughly 40 minutes.

In the spirit of welcoming the new means of commuting, the price of a normal $7 ticket will be scratched for the first week. Passengers can ride for free on the ferries through this Friday.

The first ferry left Jack London Square in Oakland at 6:25 this morning, and arrived at Oyster Point’s ferry terminal hours before a late morning ceremony with San Mateo County and South San Francisco politicians and dignitaries in attendance.

Nina Rannells, executive director of Water Emergency Transportation Agency, which administers bay ferries, said the ferry represents a “new chapter” in water transportation on The Bay:

“Our vision for the future of transportation around the Bay Area includes a robust ferry system, starting with this important step in serving the vibrant and growing employer base in South San Francisco.”

The new ferry will operate three morning rush trips, and two trips in the evening returning to the East Bay.

These ferry services aren’t the only upgrades that Oyster Point is receiving. The San Mateo County Harbor District has applied for a $250,000 in federal funds in an effort to improve the docks in anticipation of greater boat traffic. The District foresees upcoming America’s Cup events bringing more guest boats to its docks.