With no Bay Bridge, wouldn’t it be nice to have a ferry from Berkeley into the city?

That’s always been my thought, but I’m being persuaded otherwise by David Fielder, a friend who is one of the most visible opponents of the planned Berkeley Marina ferry service.  Certainly when you begin to look at the Water Emergency Transportation Authority’s plan, it’s hard to make the numbers add up. The cost of the plan is $57 million ($34 million for the terminal and $23 million for the vessels). The goal is to carry 800 passengers each way by 2025 — which seems an awfully long time from now, and very few passengers.

WETA’s plan identifies the need for 400 parking places at the marina. Since there aren’t enough places, the idea is to provide valet parking. Perhaps that’s what travelers will deserve for the $7 each way ticket. But can you imagine returning with even 100 others at the end of the day and having to line up for the valets to fetch your car. Equally, already congested University Avenue is the only access to the marina. I wouldn’t fancy fighting that each way every day.

The idea of a boat trip on the Bay to get to the city is seductive. The reality is less so.

Photo by Michael Patrick from Flickr

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...