Starting October 1st:
- The one-way adult fare for the Oakland/Alameda ferry using Clipper will be $4.75.
- The one-way adult fare for the Harbor Bay ferry using Clipper will be $5.00.
This is similar to Golden Gate Ferry’s policy for all Clipper card passengers to get the same discount as their former printed ticket books. Prior to Clipper, the TransLink card gave the same discounts, regardless if the passenger rides regularly or just a few times a year.
The board also decided to change the transfer policy for Muni. Effective October 1st, a passenger who paid the full fare in cash or used the ticket books was given the privilege to ride Muni for free away and to the SF terminal. The policy is now changing to 50 cent discount per direction and passengers must use the same Clipper card they paid to use the ferry to utilize the discount. This is exactly similar to Golden Gate Ferry’s existing transfer agreement with Muni.
Those with the ferry paper transfers will still be able to use them on Muni until November 1st, they have granted a 30 day grace period for people to use them up.
I like that Oakland/Alameda and Harbor ferries will be giving all Clipper card passengers the discount price, no matter if they are a regular commuter or just someone going to the farmer’s market on Saturdays. The discount price makes it attractive to casual passengers because a round-trip ride can save an adult $3 for a round trip ride. I applaud SF Bay Ferry for not trying to do something stupid by making passengers by Clipper card e-ticket discount books (I’m talking to you Caltrain).
Without the need to buy bulk ticket books, there’s no more worrying if a passenger is running short and needs to get more; this means passengers can simply just recharge their Clipper card at vendors like the Bay Crossings booth in the SF Ferry Building, the Clipper card machines at Golden Gate Ferry SF terminal, or any Walgreens in the Bay Area.
If you were to compare the cost to get from SF Ferry Building to Jack London Square ferry terminal, the ferry is the better choice. Passengers could take BART at Embarcadero, but the passenger must also take AC Transit too, and the total cost would be $5 ($3.15 BART and $1.85 discounted AC Transit fare for transferring from BART to AC). A trip on the ferry is $4.75.
I’m disappointed at the decision to cut the Muni transfers to just 50 cents per direction. Muni put the pressure on WETA to cut it down; while they say it’s in line with existing agreements with Golden Gate and BART, I think it indicates the SFMTA is trying to save money.
For regular commuters who uses ticket books, they get screwed because the ticket books gives free round-trip rides on Muni ($4 value), starting October 1st, they will have to pay $3 round-trip to ride Muni.
Casual passengers who switch from regular cash to Clipper won’t lose any money. The cash policy (pre October 1st) gives passengers a free Muni round-trip transfer at full value ($4). But when reduced to a 50 cent discount to and from the Ferry Terminal and compared to the $3 in round-trip savings for paying their ferry ride with Clipper, there’s no gain or loss for them.