Water Taxi is Out of Service – Until Further Notice

Please be advised that the free, inner-harbor water taxi is out of service until further notice. Effective July 2, 2019.

Harbor Water Taxi Status

The water taxi was recently taken out of service. The interruption in service has sparked interest among community members, so we wanted to provide an update on actions being taken by staff and the Commission to restore service.

The current water taxi, FreeRide I, was constructed in 1967. The harbor acquired it as a used vessel in 1995, and put it into service offering users a boat ride to various harbor stops. The Port Commission authorized $75,000 in new funding in the Port District’s current budget to replace the aged water taxi. In researching replacement options, staff learned that the U.S. Coast Guard passenger-for-hire exemption no longer applies to free water taxi service. Vessels carrying more than six passengers require a Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection and operation by licensed officers and trained crew. U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco has confirmed this requirement applies to the Port District’s current water taxi operation. Because of the current water taxi’s advanced age (52 years) and its construction properties, it is not up to Coast Guard standards and therefore was taken out of service.

Staff and the Port Commission will continue to work with the Coast Guard, legislators, and vendors to explore options that we hope will allow the Port District to continue water taxi service in the future with a new vessel.

Please contact the Harbormaster’s office for updated information at (831) 475-6161.