Vallejo Ferry Terminal Reconfiguration Project

Vallejo Ferry Terminal

Project Benefits

  • Decreases passenger disruption caused due to temporary facility location during a dredging event
  • Reduces the need for dredging frequency from every 2-3 year cycle to every 20+ years saving approximately $21 million in 20 years
  • Provides more reliable transit times due to quicker docking/undocking procedures
  • Provides more passenger queuing area than the existing configuration
  • Reduces environmental disturbance

Project Description

The Vallejo ferry route is one of the services that has highest daily ridership in WETA’s San Francisco Bay Ferry service, carrying approximately 1 million passengers in 2019 before the pandemic and nearly 600,000 passengers in 2022. The Vallejo Ferry Terminal is located on the east shore of Mare Island Strait and is subject to ongoing siltation (or water pollution caused by silt or clay) that requires maintenance dredging to maintain adequate depths inside the basin for the ferry vessel operations.

The rate of siltation in the Napa River has drastically increased in the last decade resulting in an increased dredging frequency from once every 4 years to once every 1.5 to 2 years. Each dredging episode costs WETA nearly $2 million, an expense expected to increase over time. The Vallejo Ferry Terminal Reconfiguration Project will relocate the float away from the basin area where the heaviest accumulation of sediment occurs, thereby.  reducing  the need to dredge frequently and saving WETA up to approximately $21 million over the next 20 years.

Just as important as the cost savings this project would have on strained budgets, dredging and low tide episodes are also disruptive to passengers and service operations.  Due to the amount of siltation filling in the ferry terminal basin leading up to scheduled dredging projects, WETA has had to cancel service during low tide events, leaving passengers with no direct transit option to San Francisco. Additionally, each dredging episode takes approximately two to four weeks to complete, during which time WETA must establish a temporary terminal using a temporary float and alternative gangway and redirect passengers.

The goal of the Vallejo Terminal Reconfiguration Project is to reduce the frequency of dredge events and provide more suitable berthing configurations for the ferry vessels that will maximize service efficiency while minimizing disruption to passengers.

Environmental Review

The proposed project has three alternatives for where the new terminal could be placed around the Vallejo ferry basin.

Alternatives for the Vallejo Ferry Terminal Reconfiguration Project

All alternatives will be included in an environmental review process to determine any potential impacts that may result from reconfiguring and constructing a new ferry terminal. To meet the California Environmental Quality Act of 1970 (CEQA) Guidelines and advance this project, WETA is preparing an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) accompanied by opportunities for ferry riders and the public to give their feedback on the three proposed alternatives and their potential impacts.

Take our survey here.

Visit with team members at the below pop-ups to learn more about the project and/or attend the virtual meeting!

  • Pop-up! October 7, 2023 (9 AM to noon and 3 PM to 6 PM) at the Vallejo Farmers' Market and the Vallejo Ferry Terminal
  • Pop-up! in October (details coming soon)

Project Timeline

Design work on the project began in 2022.

Environmental review and permitting is scheduled for 2023 and 2024. (We are here!)

Construction is scheduled to occur in 2025 or 2026.

Project Funding

WETA has already committed approximately $9 million in federal funds and $4 million in matching Regional Bridge Toll Funds for this $16 million project. The agency is seeking an additional $3 million funding to complete the project.

Project Supporters

  • Bay Planning Coalition
  • Bay Area Council
  • Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific (IBU, Marine Division ILWU)
  • International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MMP)
  • Solano County Transportation Authority
  • City of Vallejo
  • Vallejo Chamber of Commerce
  • Assemblymember Lori Wilson
  • State Senator Bill Dodd