Fares are up, Ridership is Up, and the Ferry Service is Down.
Fares recently went up as pre-scheduled, and interestingly, fuel costs are way down over what they were a year ago, and ridership is way up. Morning and Evening Commutes are almost always on full boats, ball game or not, and tourists or not.
And so we pay more money for the convenience of taking the ferry instead of clogging up the freeways, but we are less comfortable, especially on the dinky MV Vallejo. It will be interesting to see if the crazy maxed out boats continue into the fall rainy season, where sitting outside will not be much of an option, and yet inside is filled up. Think MV Vallejo, and the torture of that ride.
And so the ferry folks are bringing in a ton of money, and we the regulars, the commuters who shell out that big chunk of change are still getting left at the dock on Giants Game Days. It adds insult to injury when the ball game fans leave a big stinking mess in the cabin, and outside. First come first serve policy means that we commuters fill the coffers, and get zero thanks, except that once or twice a year when they feed us free “coffee” * and donuts.
We think it’s time that monthly pass holders get preference on game days, and get moved to the front of the line. We have kept the ferry funded for many years, and consistently spend our money. The tourists, and Giants Fans come on board, disrupt the commute, make it difficult for us commuters to get to work and home on time. This is un-freaking-cool.
Food and Beverages onboard the ferries needs to be kicked up a couple notches. Number one, local, or state made beverages such as beer should get priority, not some nasty German or Dutch “Export”. Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, Pyramid, Anchor Steam, Stone are but a few made in California brews available. Give us the stuff we make here.
Food is just chips and nuts and candy bars, with an occasional apple thrown in. How about freshly made popcorn? That will sell well, and sell drinks. Talk about profit!
Hotdogs, and pre-made sandwiches, etc might do well.
Finally with the boats maxed out during commute times, how about we get additional slots added?
* Stale, nasty coffee is silly considering Vallejo has it’s own coffee roaster, Moschetti, who will sell the ferry freshly roasted premium coffee that will actually have folks wanting to buy coffee on board instead of buying it from others.