April 15, 2016

Routes 31 & 37 - Wave Ferry Shuttle Demonstration Projects - Discontinued in June due to Low Ridership

Starting June 13th, two of Golden Gate Transit’s Wave ferry shuttle routes will be discontinued. Routes 31 (from central San Rafael) and 37 (from Smith Ranch Road), which bring customers to the Larkspur Ferry Terminal, will be eliminated. Route 25 which operates from Fairfax down Sir Francis Drake Boulevard will continue to operate.

Routes 31 and 37 were both nine-month demonstration projects to test the viability of these routes. Route 37 started in December 2014, connecting the Smith Ranch Road Park-and-Ride Lot and Terra Linda Bus Pad with the Larkspur Ferry Terminal. Ridership was not meeting standards at the end of the first six months, but as it appeared to be improving, a nine-month extension was approved. Route 31 started in September 2015, picking up passengers along San Rafael’s Miracle Mile and Transit Center. Neither route has met the ridership standards required by the District to become permanent routes, despite significant promotion through news coverage in the Marin Independent Journal and a robust marketing campaign.

The District’s standard for permanent service is an average of 10 passengers per trip. On Route 37, the average count across all commute trips is 7.19 passengers per trip. On Route 31, the average count across all commute trips is 3.92 passengers per trip. Reverse commute trips are excluded from the count, as they would artificially lower the passenger count. While some individual northbound trips on Route 37 carried more than ten passengers, the specific trips were not consistent from month to month. Unfortunately, none of the morning trips exceeded the ten passengers-per-trip threshold and as a result, the overall performance of Route 37 did not average out to ten passengers per trip. Route 31 never achieved ridership above the single digits per trip and was well below the performance standard.

As a result of this ridership data, on March 11th, 2016, the District Board of Directors instructed staff to discontinue Routes 31 and 37. Both will end after the evening commute period on Friday, June 10, 2016.

There are some alternative bus routes directly to San Francisco:

  • Route 31:
    • Customers from the West End of San Rafael can take Route 27.
    • Riders from the San Rafael Transit Center can take Route 27 or 44 for direct service to the SFFD.
    • Reverse commuters can use Route 27 or 101 from San Francisco to the Transit Center.
  • Route 37:
    • Smith Ranch Road passengers can walk to the freeway bus pad at Lucas Valley Road and take Route 44 or 58.
    • Freitas Parkway bus pad passengers can take Route 44 or 58.
    • North San Pedro bus pad passengers can take Route 38 from Merrydale Road.
    • Reverse commuters can use Routes 70 from San Francisco to Hwy 101 bus pads.

Customers can share their thoughts on the elimination of these routes by emailing buscomments@goldengate.org or calling 511 (say "Golden Gate Transit," then "operator" to bypass recorded messages)/TDD 711 to reach our Customer Service Center, open weekdays from 7am to 6pm.


Sample Golden Gate Transit ridership data for Wave Shuttle Routes 31 and 37:

ROUTE 31

Northbound Trips
Avg. Daily Riders
4:05 PM
3.48
4:35 PM
2.95
5:05 PM
3.86
5:35 PM
4.24
6:05 PM
5.67
6:35 PM
6.00
7:05 PM
6.33
Avg. all NB Trips
4.65
Southbound Trips
Avg. Daily Riders
6:30 AM
1.43
7:00 AM
1.24
7:20 AM
2.95
7:50 AM
3.37
8:10 AM
3.00
8:45 AM
1.33
9:40 AM
1.20
Avg. all SB Trips
2.08
AVG. ALL TRIPS
3.92

ROUTE 37

Northbound Trips
Avg. Daily Riders
4:35 PM
4.52
5:05 PM
9.76
5:35 PM
7.71
6:05 PM
10.90
6:35 PM
7.43
7:05 PM
5.90
Avg. all NB Trips
7.70
Southbound Trips
Avg. Daily Riders
6:32 AM
4.95
7:02 AM
9.19
7:22 AM
5.29
7:53 AM
8.29
8:13 AM
8.33
8:48 AM
4.00
Avg. all SB Trips
6.68
AVG. ALL TRIPS
7.19