September 12, 2012

San Francisco Water Taxi/Shuttle Services Set For October Launch

Piers 1½ to 5

Five years ago, San Francisco Waterfront Partners built San Francisco’s first water taxi launch at Pier 1½ on the Embarcadero in conjunction with their $55 million rehabilitation of Piers 1½, 3 and 5; a launch for which no water taxi service existed.

From Port Executive Director Monique Moyer when the first launch was unveiled in 2007:

"We look forward to the day when our waterfront is connected by a series of convenient and enjoyable water transit stops, and the Port is working with its private-sector partners to bring this vision to fruition."

Yesterday, San Francisco's Port Commission voted to approve both water taxi and shuttle services in San Francisco, starting as early as October 1. Pier 1½ will serve as the landing for the Ferry Building Waterfront Area.

Piers 1½ to 5

Landing rights have also been granted at the Hyde Street Harbor and South Beach Marina with others in the works.

San Francisco Water Taxi Service Take Two [SocketSite]

First Published: September 12, 2012 3:45 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

So, does this mean that the currently public dock located behind La Mar will no longer be a free place to park your boat for a few hours?

Posted by: boater at September 12, 2012 6:11 PM

I don't have a boat. My main question is, will it be faster than Muni and easier than finding a cab?

Posted by: James at September 12, 2012 8:05 PM

James - You asked the same question the last time around and I think it was not clear whether it would be faster or slower than Muni. We'll need to see the timetable to know the answer.

NYC has a similar service that seems to be geared toward tourists. I wanted to use it year last while visiting Manhattan and Brooklyn but it never worked out. So I took the subway instead and that turned out quicker anyways.

SF's version is likely to be a tourist joy ride as well.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at September 12, 2012 10:28 PM

My hunch is that if we're talking about most weekends - and, especially during the summer/tourist/baseball season - taking a water taxi from the Hyde Street Harbor to the South Beach Marina would be relatively faster than Muni for a couple of reasons: fewer stops, and not having to deal with street traffic (minus the F and T lines).

I've taken the water taxi's between Jersey City and Manhattan and they're pretty efficient as well as more pleasant than the subway but to MoD's point, it's not the quickest way to get to your final destination.

Posted by: sfjhawk at September 13, 2012 7:54 AM

Doesn't this compete with the upcoming but much cheaper E - Embarcadero line? How can they compete with $2 a ride?

Posted by: robbob at September 13, 2012 9:09 AM

SF Waterfront Partners are the same people behind 8 Washington Street. I'm surprised the neighborhood hasn't risen up en masse to battle the terrible threat of water taxis to our way of life in San Francisco.

Posted by: Rocco at September 13, 2012 11:01 AM

Have we seen an image of the proposed water craft to be used as water taxis?

I have taken little toy water taxis to Granville Island in Vancouver and around the inner harbor in Victoria, but those seem too fiddley for our conditions.

On the other hand a have taken the polished teak beauties you see in Venice and that would be overkill.

Posted by: redseca2 at September 13, 2012 12:19 PM

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