Editorial: Support doomed-to-fail-yet-again Berkeley ferry
- Published Tuesday, November 25, 2008, in the Daily Californian (UC Berkeley)
Ride the Wave
A trans-bay ferry service will reduce strain on other public transit
systems and offer another way into Berkeley.
By Senior Editorial Board
Anyone who has attempted to get around the Bay Area during rush hour
can attest to crowded train compartments, limited seating on buses,
bumper-to-bumper traffic and general personal space invasion.
Alternative outlets to alleviate passenger capacity should be welcomed
by commuters, and a new ferry service is just one way to deal with the
The ferry line would connect various terminals around the bay,
including one in our own backyard, potentially at the Berkeley Marina,
Berkeley Fishing Pier, Gilman Street or Buchanan Street. While the
project comes with a price tag of $22 million, it's a worthwhile
investment, especially in light of the 300,000 more passengers
expected to partake in the daily trans-bay journey by 2025.
Making Berkeley a stop along another transit route is advantageous to
the area, connecting it with other major cities and bringing outsiders
to shop at local businesses. While the cost to take the ferry is
likely to be more than to take BART, it could cater to a different
group of higher-income spenders who normally wouldn't even think to
hop onto public transportation.
And doing just that has always been encouraged in order to get cars
off the road. But some systems, particularly BART, can only
accommodate so many riders without a massive overhaul. And with the
looming BART fare increases, providing another way to get across the
bay is suitable considering the dense Bay Area population.
The environmental impacts of the project will always remain a concern.
Needless to say, they must be properly assessed and addressed before
A Berkeley ferry would not only increase accessibility to the city but
also help ease other overloaded systems.