Golden Gate Ferry on Monday officially kicked off its service from Tiburon to San Francisco, marking the first time in 40 years that the transportation service expanded its territory into Marin County, according to the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.
Discussions to implement the new service ignited back in 2015 when Golden Gate Ferry considered acquiring the Blue and Gold Fleet's transportation route between Tiburon and the city by the bay, according to the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.
Those discussions, which also included AC Ventures and Angel Island Tiburon Ferry, ended with the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Board of Directors on Feb. 24 approving a sublease agreement with the Blue and Gold Fleet, allowing Golden Gate Ferry to operate along the route.
Melissa Ong welcomes the number of the changes that the new service presents.
"Just a quick look around, it looks like an upgrade in terms of the inside and outside of the ferry," she said. "It feels like a lot quicker ferry than the prior one, which was a bit older vessel."
Starting at 5:30 a.m. each weekday, a ferry will ship out of Tiburon for San Francisco, according to the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Several back-and-forth trips will then take place during the morning and evening commute hours.
Those scheduled trips on a new ferry make Carl Jameson's commute a bit less stressful.
"This is a very nice boat so we're very happy," he said. "We're getting to work on time now so we're happy about that.
The added ferry service, in addition to buses that transport commuters from the North Bay to San Francisco, can help reduce congestion on the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway 101 by as much as 25 percent, according to Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Manager Denis Mulligan.
"It's a wonderful way to get to work," commuter James Taylor said. "Definitely helps the commute for other people who have to drive in. We don't. It's wonderful that we get to do this on the water everyday. Thankfully Golden Gate (Ferry) saw the opportunity to service this way. We're thankful for it."