April 3, 2006

Security Enhancements at Golden Gate Ferry and Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Ferry has been actively involved in providing added security at terminals and aboard vessels by coordinating closely with both the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and local law enforcement agencies; since 9/11/01, these efforts have expanded significantly. In particular, Golden Gate Ferry has developed a new Maritime Security Plan in coordination with the USCG. Further, in the fall of 2004, working with the local USCG Marine Safety Office and local police departments in Sausalito, Larkspur, Corte Madera, San Francisco, and the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, a new program was created — the San Francisco Bay Ferry “Ride Along” Program. The idea was simple — let on and off-duty law enforcement personnel ride our ferries at no cost thereby increasing the law enforcement presence on the Bay. This program is in addition to the USCG’s program where uniformed USCG officers board ferries randomly.

In 2004/2005, Golden Gate Ferry implemented a $1.2 million project to install several critical security enhancements including the addition of surveillance cameras, perimeter security panels and gates, and back-up communications equipment. To preserve the generally open nature of the terminals and to maintain clear views of the Bay, the new perimeter security wall system was constructed of transparent polycarbonate. Working under the latest security requirements of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Maritime Administration and U.S. Coast Guard, Golden Gate Ferry received grant funds totaling $520,000 from TSA; the remainder came from $136,000 in District funds and $544,000 in Federal Transportation Administration funds. Construction began in November 2004, and the project was substantially completed in 2005.

In November 2004, the Golden Gate Bridge received a $2.1 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security to add and upgrade surveillance equipment, intrusion detection devices, physical barriers and area lighting. Construction will begin on this project in April 2006.