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September 8, 2008, Golden Gate Larkspur Ferry Celebrates 10 Years of High-Speed Ferry Service

On September 8, 1998, Golden Gate Larkspur Ferry expanded services between San Francisco and Larkspur with the launch of a new high-speed catamaran, Motor Vessel (M.V.) Del Norte. This significant milestone offered customers new commute options, including more frequent trips, better departure times, and faster crossings. The addition of the M.V. Del Norte to the Larkspur Ferry fleet nearly doubled the number of daily round trips available to customers, to 40 trips per day up from 26.


The 390-passenger Del Norte high-speed catamaran was an instant hit, increasing ridership by 11% very quickly after being launched. The 135’ 4" long vessel was constructed by Dakota Creek Industries, crosses the San Francisco Bay in 30 minutes at 36 knots (41.4 mph) and has 2 passenger decks.

On September 10, 2001, Golden Gate Larkspur Ferry’s second high-speed catamaran, the M.V. Mendocino, was placed into service between Larkspur and San Francisco. To ensure its long-term viability, the M.V. Mendocino was then taken out of service for substantial warranty repairs from December 2002 to December 2003 as it had been determined that the aluminum used for the hull was constructed using a process that did not meet stringent marine engineering and U.S. Coast Guard regulations.

Annual Larkspur Ferry Ridership by Fiscal Year


Since 1997 Larkspur Ferry ridership has grown by 45.66%.

2007

1,477,762

2006

1,402,668

2005

1,334,644

2004

1,276,373

2003

1,269,643

2002

1,311,782

2001

1,451,237

2000

1,408,340

1999

1,222,711

1998

1,066,043

1997

1,014,547

 

Larkspur Parking Lot Expansion Underway Now

Construction is underway to make access and parking improvements to the parking lot at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal. These improvements include additional net parking spaces, additional traffic controls for safety, improved accessibility, and enhanced walking and biking trails.

On Friday, June 27, 2008, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District) Board of Directors authorized the award of a $1.3 million construction contract for the Golden Gate Ferry Larkspur Terminal Parking and Access Improvements Project (Project) to Ghilotti Bros., Inc., San Rafael, CA. The Project will reconfigure the existing parking lot and convert a portion of the existing landscape areas along the perimeter of the terminal to accommodate 217 additional parking spaces. The total number of spaces, once the project is completed, will be 1,808.

The Project includes:

  • Saw cutting and demolition of the existing pavement, curbs and sidewalks and grading of existing landscaped areas.
  • Modifying existing and constructing new drainage facilities.
  • Restoring the existing bicycle path to its original use (rather than being used for overflow parking as it has been).
  • Relocating the bike path at the entrance along the creek that includes a new bicycle bridge.
  • Installing new and restoring existing landscaping.
  • Modifying existing and constructing new lighting, including three (3) existing light fixtures being replaced with new LED light fixtures on solar powered light posts.
  • Installing in-roadway lighting systems to improve safety in two crosswalks.
  • Installing new benches at two viewing areas adjacent to bike/pedestrian path at south end of Terminal to enhance access to bay views.
  • Replacing existing bicycle racks.
  • Installing traffic slowing speed bumps at 4 locations along the Terminal’s perimeter road.
  • Installing additional way finding signs and safety signs to improve access and safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Project construction schedule is as follows:

Construction Began: Mid July 2008. All of the earth work will be completed by October 15, 2008, in advance of the rainy season.

Added Parking Spaces Useable: mid-November 2008

Contract Completion: End of December 2008/Early January 2009