San Francisco Giants fans this season could soon have to shell out more cash to take the ferry service due to the Giants changing its weeknight scheduled start time for games.
Most weeknight home games will now begin at 6:45 p.m. instead of 7:15 p.m., which will affect how the Water Emergency Management Transportation Authority will run San Francisco Bay Ferry Service during those night games.
An adult fare would jump from $7.50 to $9.60 on the Alameda/Oakland service, and an adult fare on the Vallejo service will rise from $14.20 to $15.90 due to an anticipated increase in operating costs.
Last Thursday, WETA’s Board of Directors approved staff to begin its outreach process to the public to solicit feedback on the potential fare increases and will vote on recommendation at its meeting next month.
Mike Gougherty, a senior planner with WETA, said WETA would need to have an additional crew as the new game start time coincides with the afternoon commute peak period for the Alameda/Oakland service:
“We used to be able to take a crew, extend them into overtime and incur a minimal expense to provide ballpark service. In order to continuing providing the schedule we do, we’re going to have to bring in a new crew.”
A staff report said the 6:45 p.m. game start time overlaps with the afternoon peak commute service and that WETA would no longer be able to use an existing crew, as it has for weeknight games, without affecting regular commute service.
WETA met its revenue goals from the farebox to offset operating costs last year. Staff uses a farebox recovery ratio of 90 to 110 percent an indicator of meeting the WETA’s fare goals.
Last year, the farebox recovery was 97 percent for the Alameda/Oakland service and 95 percent for the Vallejo service.
With the additional crew for the Alameda/Oakland service, WETA projects a 78 percent farebox recovery. The staff report projects operating costs to rise to $298,000 this year compared $241,000 last year.
The rise in contract labor rates and an anticipated increase in gas fuel are driving up the fare increase for the Vallejo ballpark ferry service, a WETA staff report said.
Operating costs are projected to rise by 12 percent to operate the Vallejo ballpark service, Gougherty said.
WETA will let passengers know of the fare increase proposal through onboard flyers, emails and on its website.