Golden Gate ferry service begins Tiburon-San Francisco route

TIBURON, Calif. (KGO) -- Commuters who take the ferry between Tiburon and San Francisco are noticing a change with the schedule and the way they pay. This is the result of a public transit agency taking over operations from the struggling Blue and Gold Fleet.

It's not everyday passengers applaud when they see their ferry arrive, but when your old ferry didn't always show up to bring you home, you're pretty happy to have a new ride.

"Particularly at night when they would cancel -- and they would do it on five minutes notice. Everybody would be lined up to get on the boat and it just wouldn't show up and they would say 'ohh by the way, it's been cancelled,'" said John Hansen, ferry passenger.

The Golden Gate Ferry took over the service from Tiburon to San Francisco today. The Blue and Gold Fleet was the carrier, but the company said it was too expensive and threatened to reduce service.

"We've been waiting for months and months for a resolution to this uncertainty now we have a reliable commute and it is wonderful to see," said Steve Machtinger, ferry passenger.

It won't be a money maker, but the Golden Gate Bridge District decided to take over for the greater good.

"This is in line with our mission to reduce congestion along the Hwy 101 corridor. Every time our passengers take our ferries or our buses it reduces congestion on the Golden Gate Bridge and that's really key," said Priya David Clemens, Golden Gate Bridge District.

There will be a few changes -- for the first time passengers can use Clipper Cards to pay for the ride, officials even gave them away this morning to encourage the transition. The schedule is a bit different too, but commuters are ready for the ride.

"It seems fine, in some ways it's more convenient. Right now you buy books of tickets; Clipper Card is probably more convenient," said John O'Neill, ferry passenger.

Golden Gate officials will listen to feedback from passengers and will adjust if need be. They will accept Blue and Gold tickets for the next month while everyone makes the transition.
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