Potential Redwood City Ferry

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What is the Proposed Redwood City Ferry Terminal Project?

The Redwood City Ferry Terminal Project (Project) envisions potential ferry service to the mid-peninsula with Redwood City representing the southernmost hub for the San Francisco Bay Ferry system. This potential service would provide an alternative to connecting the mid-peninsula to San Francisco and the East Bay.  The potential terminal would be constructed within the Port of Redwood City.  Waterside improvements would include a passenger float, piles, fixed pier and gangway. Landside improvements would include a parking lot, bus and shuttle drop off facilities, bike storage, restrooms, and public access amenities such as trails, benches, picnic tables, etc. Vessels serving the terminal would travel at speed up to 34 knots with a travel time of approximately one hour to San Francisco and the East Bay. 

San Francisco Bay Ferry – operated by the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) -- would provide origin service from Redwood City to San Francisco and destination service from both San Francisco and the East Bay to Redwood City. Initial service would be during weekday commute periods.  As the service matures, midday, evening, weekend and special event service could be introduced.

The potential project will provide a new transportation choice to and from Redwood City. Ferry travel is generally considered the most pleasant travel experience of all the travel modes. The Redwood City ferry service has the potential to entice drivers out of their cars, therefore reducing congestion on local streets as well as the region’s highways. 

Why is it Needed?

The Redwood City’s General Plan established a balanced, multimodal transportation network as a goal for the City. In 2018, the City adopted the Citywide Transportation Plan (CTP) to Promote the best travel experience possible for everyone in Redwood City by creating and maintaining a safe, multimodal, and accessible transportation network. The Redwood City Terminal Project is one of many projects identified in the CTP that seek to address increased traffic congestion in the city.

Regional growth in the economy and increases in population throughout the Bay Area have contributed to congestion along the city’s highways and arterial roads. Currently, Redwood City and mid-peninsula residents and commuters are limited to three options to get to and from San Francisco: Caltrain, SamTrans express buses, or personal / carpool vehicle usage. For many residents and commuters, US 101 or Interstate 280 play a significant role for their commutes contributing to congestion on San Mateo County’s freeways and the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges. The potential Redwood City ferry would provide an additional transit opportunity and ferry service has the benefit of being known as a relaxing commuting alternative.

The ferry system is designed to not just satisfy commuting and travel demands but serves as a key piece of the region’s emergency response infrastructure. After a major event, the ferry system will be relied upon to move first responders to affected areas and will serve as a means of evacuating or transporting victims or those affected by a major earthquake or other disaster. If the region faces a prolonged period without key infrastructure such as bridges or rail transit, the ferry will also be a contributor to the recovery effort. The potential Redwood City ferry terminal would not only be a new transit facility but also a part of an emergency response network throughout the Bay Area.    


  • Conduct a Financial Feasibility Study in order to estimate costs, identify potential revenue sources, evaluate possible routes and destinations, and to determine potential ridership characteristics.

  • Conduct a Cost-Benefit Analysis to identify and quantify local and regional benefits.
  • Provide outreach opportunities for the public to become informed and provide feedback on priorities and issues.


The City has recently been awarded Measure A funding through the San Mateo County Transportation Authority to prepare a Financial Feasibility Study and Cost-Benefit Analysis Report for the potential Redwood City Terminal Construction and Service.  Upon study completion, it will be presented to the City Council and the Port Commission for their direction on next steps.

Concurrently, the City and WETA are developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will serve as the framework securing funding for terminal construction and ferry service. The MOU will identify the City and WETA’s responsibilities for construction, procurement of vessels, capital improvements, maintenance and operations.


Upcoming Meetings

Stay tuned for information about upcoming meetings.

Previous Meetings

  • May 25, 2018 at 10 a.m. – Tour of Proposed Ferry Terminal Site and Ferry Project Objective

Environmental Review

As a feasibility study, there is no environmental review required at this time.



Project Planner Project Consultant
Christopher Dacumos CDM Smith Inc.
Management Analyst, City of Redwood City Camille Tsao
(650) 780-5957 (415) 495-6201