Pandemic recovery plan would reduce Richmond ferry fares, double service

Richmond Ferry weekend service pilot project begins this Saturday, Aug. 3. (Photo credited to WETA)

A COVID-19 pandemic recovery plan proposes to reduce the adult Clipper fare to ride the Richmond ferry to $4.50 while doubling service at the city’s terminal.

At its April 1 meeting, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority Board of Directors is set to consider the proposed Pandemic Recovery Program, a one-year program set to begin in July that aims to reduce fares and expand service system-wide in order to attract riders.

Currently, the adult Clipper fare to ride the ferry between Richmond and San Francisco is $7. The proposed recovery program would lower it to $4.50 until at least July 2022, and would also include new late-night and midday trips in addition to the pre-pandemic commute-hour trips (see the proposals in the charts below.)

More details about the plan, including how it impacts ferry terminals in other cities, can be viewed here.

“WETA’s partner agencies in Contra Costa County are committed to investing in the Richmond ferry service and attracting more riders to the ferry,” according to WETA staff. “Richmond was a top performer pre-pandemic, having exceeded ridership forecasts. Richmond is also a growth opportunity in attracting a broader range of riders beyond traditional office workers. As a result, staff is proposing to double Richmond’s current service levels with additional offerings in the midday and evening.”

Ferry service throughout the San Francisco Bay system was greatly reduced following the shelter-in-place orders that began March 2020. WETA has received $17 million in federal emergency relief funds to offset revenue losses due to reduced ridership.