Golden Gate Going Green

Emissions Reductions at GGF - Updated June 2010

Over the past few years, there has been significant focus within the maritime industry, as well as state and federal regulatory arenas, on reducing ferry exhaust emissions. Golden Gate Ferry participated in the development of the latest California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions regulations for harbor craft that were adopted by CARB in December 2007.

The GGF fleet consists of 3 high-capacity 715-passenger Spaulding class vessels (M.S. Sonoma, M.S. San Francisco, M.S. Marin) and 4 high-speed catamarans with passenger capacities of 390 (M.V. Del Norte), 400 (M.V. Napa), and 450 (M.V. Mendocino and M.V. Golden Gate).

  • The Spaulding class vessels were placed into service between Larkspur and San Francisco in 1976. In 2001 and 2002, the engines in these vessels were replaced with new, more modern, and efficient diesel engines.
  • The high-speed catamarans were added to the fleet in 1998 (M.V. Del Norte), 2001 (M.V. Mendocino), 2009 (M.V. Napa), and 2010 (M.V. Golden Gate). In 2008, the engines of the M.V. Del Norte and M.V. Mendocino vessels were replaced with new cleaner "Tier 2" engines that met current federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state CARB regulations. The M.V. Napa and M.V. Golden Gate will be equipped with “Tier 2-20” engines that exceed current federal EPA and state CARB requirements; both vessels will also undergo a complete refurbishment. GGF will also be testing Biodesiel fuel (2 to 5% mixtures) in these vessels once they are ready for service.

Once the engines are replaced on the existing catamarans and the new vessels are added to the fleet, there will be a 49% reduction in emissions versus current vessels. The 49% emission reduction is based on assumption of high-speed vessel utilization as follows: M.V. Napa and M.V. Golden Gate (40%), M.V. Mendocino (40%), and M.V. Del Norte (20%) as the back-up vessel. This also assumes the re-powering of the M.V. Mendocino and M.V. Del Norte with “Tier 2” engines.

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