High fuel prices hits local ferries

ALAMEDA, CA

It now costs $550,000 more for the /*Alameda/oOakland and Harbor Bay ferries*/ to cruise across the bay. In nearly a year and a half, the ferry's diesel fuel costs have increased from $2.17 to $4.29 a gallon.

"Staff does believe a fuel surcharge is needed at this time, otherwise we will have to use the balance of our reserves to offset the increase in fuel expenses," said Earnest Sanchez, the Oakland/Alameda Ferry manager.

At the /*Alameda City Council*/ meeting, the council voted to increase the one-way fare between Alameda and Oakland line by 25 cents, and from the East Bay to San Francisco by 50 cents. Now a round trip to San Francisco and back will cost $13.

"That would be difficult to afford, but I imagine if it goes up that high my other options are going to be high too," said Bryana Schroder, a ferry commuter.

The Vallejo Baylink Ferry has already increased its one-way fare by an average of $1.82 and AC Transit has a $48 parcel tax on the November ballot to generate $14 million.

The ferry riders here will feel the increase on July 7th, but overall, some riders say it still beats driving.

"I work in the city and parking and gas combined is still way more than public transportation," said Jan Vornkahl, a ferry commuter.

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