The city of Oakland is considering a ferry-based system to get commuters and tourists around the region, and could launch the service as early as next year, officials said.
Oakland’s transportation department has been studying the potential of a ferry that could take riders from the Bay Bridge and the Embarcadero into the Oakland area.
The agency is in the process of working with several partners to determine a launch date, said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who is a partner in the partnership.
Oakland is also exploring a system that would connect with San Jose International Airport via an elevated ferry system that could help ease congestion and air travel problems.
Oakland, which is about 30 minutes away from San Francisco, has seen a surge in people using the Bay and the Peninsula in recent years.
The county recently expanded ferry service between Oakland and San Francisco from one day to two weeks, and officials hope to see the system in place by the end of the year.
Oakland’s transportation secretary, David Nirenberg, said he was aware of the ferry proposal and hoped to see it in action as early next year.
He said he expects it to be ready by the beginning of 2018.
According to Nirenbecker, Oakland officials are in the final stages of developing a ferry system to bring people and goods across the bay.
The proposed ferry service would ferry passengers between the city of Los Angeles and the island of Hawaii.
In the interim, Oakland plans to build a dock and other facilities for the ferry system in San Francisco Bay, and a docking facility at Oakland International Airport, which could accommodate about 2,000 passengers per day, according to the mayor.
Nirenbeckers announcement came a day after a plan by a group of Oakland business owners to lease the waterfront to Oakland for $300 million was unveiled.
The group, called Oaklanders, wants to lease about 10 acres of land and construct a new hotel.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for us to expand our waterfront and create a destination that’s very close to the people,” Nirenbeckers announcement said.
Business owners say the property could be used for restaurants, offices, entertainment and other uses.
A public meeting on the lease proposal is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Thursday at Oakland City Hall, where the lease agreement was first reported by the Oakland Tribune.
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