Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Richmond-to-SF ferry coming in 2018

   POINT RICHMOND - The Hydrus is coming to Richmond in early 2018.

     That's the name of the under-construction, 400-plus passenger ferry that the San Francisco Bay Ferry company will be using to start its Richmond-to-San Francisco (and back, of course) service.

     That piece of news was delivered to the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council Wed. Dec. 7 by Ernest Sanchez, manager of public information and marketing for the company.

     Hydrus, by the way, means water snake.

      At the outset, the ferry service will run Monday-Friday with three morning departures and four afternoon return trips. Although the Hydrus is nominally the official Richmond ferry, because of scheduling other ferries will be providing service from the Richmond Ferry Landing, too.

     The ferry will leave and return from a pier near the Ford Craneway building, Sanchez said. Parking for about 360 vehicles in planned on the Richmond side. A shuttle to take passengers to-and-from the ferry terminal area is also possible.

     "For now, this will be a peak commute service," he said. "Initially, there won't be any weekend or midday service."

     The ferry will be landing on the San Francisco side at the SF Ferry Building, where construction is planned to make room for additional Bay Area ferries.

     In addition to 400 passengers, the ferry will also have room for 50 bicycles, offer food and beverage service and make the Richmond-to-SF run in about 30 minutes. The new ferry is one of seven under construction by the company for use in the Bay Area, all of which are scheduled to be in service by 2019.

    The Hydrus will initially be doing Vallejo-to-San Francisco trips - as well as other break-in voyages - before being put into service for the Richmond run.