An idea is moving forward for a temporary ferry terminal to serve the new Warriors arena in Mission Bay, which could be operational by the time the arena opens this fall, fingers crossed.
Amid growing anxieties in the neighborhood about what new traffic nightmares the arena might create on concert and game nights, the Port of San Francisco is floating the idea of adding arena-specific ferry service to the mix.
As the Chronicle reports, a temporary ferry terminus could be constructed using the existing pier just south of Mission Creek. Within two years that could be replaced with a larger, more permanent terminal.
Such a project, the Chronicle notes, will still face a "gauntlet" of approvals in the coming months, including from the Port Commission, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and the Bay Area Water Quality Control Board.
Mayor London Breed has given her thumbs up to the plan, which was presented by the Port of SF's a senior waterfront planner David Beaupre to the SFMTA board on Tuesday. Breed's spokesperson Jeff Cretan told the Chronicle that the Mayor is "committed to doing everything she can to prepare for the increase in visitors to the neighborhood during Warriors games and special events, including ensuring we have ferry service as an option."
A potential ferry line could connect both Marin and the East Bay to the arena, with a potential stop at Treasure Island as well. And the Warriors cite the demographics of season ticket holders as being concentrated in Alameda, Oakland, South San Francisco, and Marin.
As the Chronicle reported in late 2018, the popularity of ferries has been ballooning as the Bay Area's traffic has gotten increasingly worse, and as BART trains at rush hour have become increasingly cramped. The idea for water taxis and ferries to serve the Chase Center was discussed in that article as well — a water taxi has also been proposed that would connect the Presidio with the arena.
Novel solutions are needed to encourage people not to drive to Mission Bay — even if some ignorant souls are no doubt going to try to do it, at least in the arena's early days when word hasn't gotten out. The 18,000-seat arena only has 950 structured parking spaces.
Also discussed at Tuesday's SFMTA board meeting are the planned shuttle bus services to the arena — shuttles will take people directly from 16th and Mission to the Chase Center, and a shuttle coming down the Van Ness BRT line will also go directly from 16th to the arena. There's also a two-way cycle track being built near the Chase Center, and once the Central Subway opens (maybe by the end of the year), that will also make things much easier for people coming from North Beach, Chinatown, and Union Square.
As SFMTA chief Ed Reiskin tells the Chronicle, "Any way that we can get people to the Chase Center that’s not in a car is a good thing."
Photo: Will Truettner