I had an interesting trip today on a trial run to establish time of a potential water taxi service from Richmond to San Francisco. The company is Tideline Marine Group, which currently offers service along the San Francisco waterfront and from Tiburon, Angel Island, Treasure Island and Sausalito to San Francisco.
The trip took 25 minutes from Marina Bay to the Ferry Building on a six-passenger boat driven by twin 115 horsepower outboards. The boat design was originally for the New Zealand Coast Guard, where the bot was manufactured. The trip was smooth and uneventful.
Tidelands has ordered a couple of larger 30-passenger boats that will be delivered later this year.
On the way back, we stopped by East Brother Island to discuss possible use of the service for larger crowds such as weddings and for people who may want water transportation directly from San Francisco.
The Tiburon to San Francisco service currently costs about $140 one way for four passengers plus $15 for up to two additional. The Sausalito to San Francisco trip is about $120 plus $15 for up to two additional. If a Richmond service started up, it would probably be subsidized by employers or developers. While not competitive with BART, AC Transit or driving for cost, it is hands-down the quickest way to get to San Francisco during rush hour.