Posted July 12, 2013

July 12, 2013, Board of Directors Approves Improvements to Golden Gate Larkspur Ferry Services

On Friday, July 12, the full Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District concurred with the approvals taken by the Transportation Committee on Thursday, July 11, 2013, aimed at making improvements to services for Golden Gate Larkspur Ferry customers.

The improvements that were approved by the Board of Directors are:

1.  Add a 7:30 am Golden Gate Larkspur weekday departure to San Francisco as a 9-month demonstration project, September 3, 2013 through June 2014, given the following (note: this trip has been running Mondays through Thursdays since early June while the Larkspur berth was under repair, and, for continuity, will continue to run through the Sept. 3 start date):

  1. Ridership is up as much as 8% in recent months with ridership at 5,300 to 5,800 passengers per day now; (2) Since June 2013, due to berth repairs, we are running a 7:30 am trip with 150 passengers per day; and (3) June 2013 Larkspur Passenger Survey showed that 60% of 1300 responders would ride a 7:30 am departure to San Francisco.

2.  Add a dedicated Larkspur Ferry shuttle bus route operating on weekdays during commute hours connecting the Ross Valley/Sir Francis Drake corridor to the Larkspur Ferry Terminal as a 9-Month Demonstration Project, September 3, 2013 through June 2014, given the following:

  1. June 2013 Larkspur Passenger Survey showed that 51% of 1,300 responders said they would ride a shuttle to the Larkspur Ferry Terminal from the Ross Valley with service beginning in begin in Fairfax and serving all communities along Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
  2. The new shuttle bus route will meet morning departures from Larkspur to San Francisco at 6:35, 7:00, 7:30, 7:50, and 8:20 am, and will meet afternoon/evening arrivals in Larkspur at 4:05, 4:55, 5:30, 6:05 6:25, and 6:55 p.m.
  3. Shuttle fares will allow passengers continuing to/from San Francisco to travel for free on the bus shuttle.
  4. The shuttle service will be evaluated in six-month to determine whether it is attracting sufficient ridership with a productivity benchmark of an average of 10 riders per trip. The 9-month operating cost for this service is $175,000.

3.  Start public outreach for a daily parking fee ranging from $2 and $5 as well as option for a monthly prepaid pass for parking at Larkspur Ferry Terminal on weekdays with the understanding that the fee is scheduled to be implemented in January 2014.

  1. The effective date and the fee structure will be presented to the Board at an upcoming meeting in conjunction with the approval of the parking fee collection system, the results of the public outreach and the Title VI analysis.
  2. 31% of survey respondents said they would pay $2 per day for parking at Larkspur, and 2/3 of respondents said it was too high. Many respondents were concerned that collecting a parking fee would cause confusion and delays while adversely impact traffic in the Larkspur parking lot.
  3. A parking fee collection system that avoids confusion and delays in the parking lot needs to be identified. With the ferry shuttle bus service starting several months prior to the parking fee, staff will have the opportunity to observe how charging a parking fee affects shuttle ridership.
  4. As an example, a $1 per day fee would generate approximately $417,000 annually.

4.  Add additional surface parking for ferry passengers through negotiations with two properties located across the street from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal with Ross Valley Sanitary District and Marin Country Mart to provide additional passenger parking. There is no timeline set for this task at this time.

5.  Hold off and do not go forward right now on the start of preliminary engineering and environmental studies for a parking structure in the vicinity of the Larkspur Ferry Terminal.

6.  Approve a budget adjustment from Reserves to the FY 13/14 Golden Ferry Division Operating Budget be made in the amount of $364,500 for the added 7:30 am trip and ferry shuttle bus trips, subject to the concurrence of the Finance-Auditing Committee at its meeting of July 11, 2013.

Results of Larkspur Passenger Survey on June 3 and 4, 2013

With 1,300 respondents:

  • 60% would ride a 7:30 am ferry as opposed to their regular time
  • 51% would take a free shuttle to the Larkspur Terminal
  • 31% would pay $2 per day for parking
  • 78% favor starting the planning and environmental process for a parking structure