June 25, 2004

More High-Speed Trips Offered on Larkspur Route

Golden Gate Sausalito and Larkspur Ferry (GGF) schedules will change on Thursday, July 1, 2004, and preserving virtually the same level of services as presently provided. The new July 1 schedules were developed with extensive public outreach resulting in receipt of 1,100 responses to an aboard survey. The customer input was used to refine the schedules to best match the customer preferences expressed. Public input was also received from GGFs Ferry Passenger Advisory Committee and from members of the Sausalito business community.

Larkspur Ferry Schedule

Sausalito Ferry Schedule

The weekday Larkspur-San Francisco route will be operated almost exclusively with 2 high-speed catamarans (M.V. Mendocino and M.V. Del Norte) rather than the current 3 vessel configuration (2 high-speed catamarans plus 1 Spaulding). One high-ridership afternoon return trip to Larkspur, the 5:20 pm will still be made using a high capacity Spaulding vessel. The new July vessel configuration preserves 41 of the 42 weekday trips made today. Larkspur weekend service will be operated with 1 Spaulding class vessel with minor time adjustments and one less trip.

The weekday and weekend Sausalito-San Francisco route will be operated a Spaulding vessel instead of the now retired M.V. Golden Gate vessel. With the exception of minor schedule adjustments, Sausalito weekday service will still operate 18 crossings (same as currently operated) and weekend service will be provided using 1 Spaulding vessel with minor schedule adjustments and one additional trip.

The fare increase, approved by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Board of Directors in May 2004 following a public hearing in April 2004, comes as one of several key measures implemented to assist in meeting rising operating costs and in reducing the $131 million five-year shortfall. The Districts bridge, bus and ferry operations are funded with four sources: (1) Bridge tolls, (2) Transit fares, (3) government grants, (4) other sources such as advertising and concessions. Examples of cost reduction and revenue generation strategies implemented in FY 2002, 2003, and 2004 to reduce fiveyear shortfall from $454 to $131 million, a 71% reduction: Cost Reductions: Staff reduced by 169 positions in FY 2003 & 2004; hiring freeze since FY 2002; no salary increases for two years for 2/3 of employees; bus service reduced by 22%; medical cost containments. Revenue Enhancements: tolls rose from $3 to $4 for FasTrak & $3 to $5 cash on Sept. 1, 2002; increased transit fares on July 1, 2002, 2003 and 2004; expanded Bridge revenue generation programs: paid-parking program, voluntary donations, annual ornament program, and new on-line web site gift center.