Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bay Crossings

The Larkspur Ferry between San Francisco's Ferry Building and Marin Country's Larkspur Landing is one of the most beautiful boat rides in the Bay Area.

For years, the heavily subsidized commuter boat line was the best bargain around at $2.65 for the forty-minute trip, but over the last five years, the price has jumped to $7.85.

There's good news on the pricing front, however. If you buy a TransLink card, you are assumed to be a commuter and the price is only $4.90.

On the weekends, Golden Gate Transit runs the older, slower boats that have plenty of comfortable outdoor seating for the extraordinary views...

...and you can chat up fellow passengers like the Terra Linda art student above who had spent the night in a penthouse at The Four Seasons in San Francisco celebrating a girlfriend's birthday party.

I was on my way to a barbeque in San Rafael and decided to walk the three miles along suburban Marin Country roads, skirting San Quentin prison, two shooting ranges, the Marin Central Sewer, not to mention legions of SUVs and latex clad bicyclists who all seemed intent on running me over.

The only thing I didn't see during the hour and a half walk was another pedestrian. It was a joy getting a ride back to urban walking culture.


Your driver said...

I know that walk well. If you'd continued on past the penitentiary and under the freeway you could have walked past an EPA registered toxic waste site and continued on along several miles of roads without sidewalks.

I agree that walking is one of the great benefits of urban life. When I was living in the city I rarely bothered with Muni. I walked almost everywhere. After many years in the country (not the suburbs) I rarely walk farther than the mailbox.

As to the cost of the ferry, I'm not sure how the ferry is funded. The District keeps it's several divisions strictly separated. We in Bus Transit are often told that we are the cause of any budget problems. I'm sure other divisions are told the same thing. I know the ferry lost some major funding sources because they were no longer able to afford feeder bus service. At one time, the district aimed for seamless transitions, with buses meeting each ferry and suburban routes that were timed to feed departing ferries.

If anyone was asking, I'd say we need frequent ferry departures that are fed by light rail service that is fed by local buses and a network of walking and biking paths. This would work really, really well in Marin and Sonoma counties as the population is concentrated along a narrow corridor within a few miles of Highway 101.

Civic Center said...

Dear Jon: Agree with every one of your recommendations. I used to love the free feeder buses from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal to the San Rafael Transit Center. I would meet friends for a weekly TGIF appetizer and booze party at Salute, that wonderful Italian restaurant across from the transit center that burned down about five years ago.

البوسطجى said...

Nice blog

momo said...

My mother took us to one of the NY Metropolitan Opera hi-def broadcasts at the theater in Larkspur--the Minghella production of Mme Butterfly--when I was out there this summer. Another reason to take the ferry?

The Opera Tattler said...

I must try this sometime, I have a Translink card and everything. Thanks for the tip.