2022 Onboard Passenger Survey

In July and August 2022, WETA conducted an onboard intercept survey on its San Francisco Bay Ferry routes. A key objective in this survey cycle was analyzing whether the Pandemic Recovery Program and shifting travel patterns had changed the characteristics of San Francisco Bay Ferry ridership or passenger sentiments about the service.

The summary report is available.

Download the 2022 WETA Onboard Passenger Survey Summary Report

Notable findings include the following.

  • Self-reported ethnic identity of riders has diversified, with the share of passengers identifying as white/Caucasian falling under 50% for the first time since WETA began operating ferry service in 2012.
  • Income levels systemwide remained relatively high, on par with data reported in the 2017 survey. In 2022:
    • 29% of passengers reported household income under $100,000 (32% in 2017)
    • 41% of passengers reported household income between $100,000 and $200,000 (33% in 2017)
    • 30% of passengers reported household income above $200,000 (25% in 2017)
  • Ridership frequency has dramatically changed, as expected, with major increases in weekday passengers riding 1-2 days per week (from 8% in 2017 to 22% in 2022) and 3-4 days per week (from 24% in 2017 to 34% in 2022) and a major decrease in weekday passengers riding five days per week (from 49% in 2017 to 26% in 2022).
  • While the top three reasons cited for choosing the ferry over other transportation options – to avoid parking and traffic, ride quality, and because the ferry is relaxing – have remained stable, the percentage of passengers citing the ferry as a cheaper option than other modes increased dramatically, from 7% in 2017 to 18% in 2022.
  • Passenger satisfaction with their ferry experience reached an all-time high of 99%, up from 88% in 2017 and dramatically higher than other Bay Area transit operators. 98% of passengers reported satisfaction with the San Francisco Bay Ferry service overall.