COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures on the Ferries

On June 4, 2020, the WETA Board of Directors adopted a six-point COVID-19 Passenger and Crew Safety Plan. The plan gives the WETA Executive Director authority to adjust policies as warranted. The below represents current polices on San Francisco Bay Ferry service.

See the plan adopted on June 4, 2020 below:

Enhanced Cleaning

After every passenger trip, crews wipe down frequently-touched surfaces including Clipper readers, handrails, arm rests, door handles, seat trays, stairwells, tabletops, and restroom surfaces. Each in-service vessel undergoes a full, deep cleaning daily as well as an electrostatic disinfectant fogging to sanitize all surfaces including hard-to-reach areas, carpeting, and upholstery. Cleaning products used are all on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of products qualified to kill coronavirus.

Social Distancing

WETA has established passenger distancing measures on vessels by marking certain seats as unavailable and capping maximum capacity on board each vessel as appropriate to allow reasonable space for each rider. Social distancing decals have been placed in areas of passenger queuing at all active ferry terminals to reflect the physical distancing needed to safely board. Crews are maintaining appropriate physical distance while safely helping passengers board and disembark. Passengers are reminded of distancing requirements through terminal and vessel signage and messaging.

In efforts to assure passengers of safe distancing on the ferries, we are releasing weekly ridership charts showing available seating on the peak-direction commute departures.

How Full Are The Ferries?

Face Coverings

San Francisco Bay Ferry requires masks to be worn by passengers and crews when on board under the rules described below.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented a federal requirement to wear masks while riding public transportation (PDF link). The requirement does not apply under the following circumstances:

  1. When necessary to temporarily remove the mask for identity verification purposes.
  2. While eating, drinking, or taking oral medications for brief periods.  Prolonged periods of mask removal are not permitted for eating or drinking; the mask must be worn between bites and sips.
  3. While communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, when the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
  4. If unconscious (for reasons other than sleeping), incapacitated, unable to be awakened, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The requirement also exempts children under the age of 2 years old.

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is provided on board every vessel in multiple locations for passengers to use. Onboard restrooms remain available, clean and stocked so that passengers and crews can wash their hands with soap and water.

Healthy Crews

Ensuring a healthy workforce is critical. WETA and its contract operator Blue & Gold Fleet are supplying workers with personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, gloves, and supplies. Work areas are being disinfected frequently.  Workers are instructed to stay home if they do not feel well and vessel crews are temperature checked before reporting to work. Sick pay is provided to crews who do not report due to illness.

Touchless Payment

Clipper and Hopthru allow for contactless payment on San Francisco Bay Ferry. Passengers are being strongly encouraged to use these methods to pay their fares or, for Vallejo, to purchase a monthly pass. For passengers who need to use cash or card to pay their fare, crews are maintaining appropriate distance when selling tickets and disinfecting surfaces touched by passengers during the transaction.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan Documents

In May 2021, WETA applied to the San Francisco Department of Public Health for authorization to increase capacity on San Francisco Bay Ferry vessels under existing city-county orders. This application was approved on May 19, 2021. See the approved application and attachments below.

WETA COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan (PDF) -- Approved by San Francisco Department of Public Health on May 19, 2021