I’ve commuted to work all sorts of ways: trains, automobiles, trams, buses, bikes subways and on foot. Though the bike is still the top choice for me due to its reliability, flexibility, health benefits, etc., my new favorite is riding the ferry between Oakland and San Francisco.
It’s always been my favorite part of any trip. I’ve crossed New York Harbor to Governors Island for a concert, ferried over Baia de Todos os Santos in Salvador, Brazil, and one of my best-loved crossings, passing through the Gulf Islands on BC Ferries.
It’s not the fastest way to travel, but it’s the most civilized. The water is calming and the scenery is stunning. Fellow passengers feel more free to chat with each other, on the San Francisco Bay Ferry you can sip a wine on your way home at the end of the work day (too bad, Canadians), and if you’re lucky maybe there will be live music and free snacks like there was today. That beats sitting in traffic or a smelly BART train any day.
It’s nothing new. Before all of the bridges were completed in the 20th century, hundreds of ferries day crossed the San Francisco Bay every day. One went all the way to Sacramento, others carried trains, and even some served a sea plane service in the middle of the bay.
And I just found out there is a new ferry service set to start running from Alameda and Oakland to South San Francisco in June. Now if we could only have more ferries between Oakland and San Francisco.