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New Ferry Building gates built to handle sea level rise, earthquakes

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The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority announced the opening of the second of two new ferry gates on Thursday.

Gate F, located just south of the Ferry Building along The Embarcadero, opened for business, serving passengers on the new Richmond ferry route and the Harbor View route. Gate G, serving Alameda/Oakland ferry passengers, opened last December.

The opening of the new gate is part of a $98 million expansion project to expand ferry capacity to meet demand for ferry service. Since 2012, ridership on San Francisco Bay Ferry has doubled.

Mayor London Breed said in a statement:

“Right now it is simply too difficult for many people to commute in and out of San Francisco.”

Breed added:

“Our population and our economy are growing. We need to make sure that we continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure to break the gridlock, and this includes expanding our ferry service throughout the Bay Area.”

Nina Rannells, executive director of WETA, said that ferry service is growing with new routes along with more passengers:

“These new gates in downtown San Francisco increase our capacity and represent a major upgrade to our busiest terminal. This is a huge milestone for this project and for the growth of WETA’s ferry service in the Bay Area.”

Gate E, also alongside the Ferry Building, will also be rebuilt over the next year that includes a new public plaza that will include new canopies to protect passengers from the weather elements while waiting in line and extensions of promenade areas.

Elanie Forbes, executive director of the Port of San Francisco, said she expects the number of people arriving by ferry to the waterfront to increase:

“The Port is planning for future growth and making sure all waterfront projects, including the downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project, are built with consideration of the latest sea level rise forecasts and designed to remain functional after a major earthquake, while also making sure our shoreline is enhanced for the thousands of people that enjoy it each day.”

WETA began its expansion project in 2016 and expects to complete the project in 2020. Funding for the project comes from federal, state and local funds.

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