TMD conducted a Service Network Design and Market Capture Approach for the Water Emergency Transportation Authority’s (WETA) San Francisco Bay Ferry system. The analysis guided overall network restructuring and market capture of future and current riders. The findings will enable a more efficient and effective ferry system aimed at meeting the continued needs of Bay Area residents.

The market analysis examined customer travel requirements in terms of origins and destinations, service frequency, amenities, and travel expenditures, and correlated them to service characteristics and competitiveness. TMD then identified potential solutions to bridge the gaps between the two to meet service demands in a cost-effective manner. Valuable opportunities came to light, including: partnering with other service providers; serving new market locations that offered a competitive advantage, such as free terminal parking; increased ridership through a competitive fare structure; and balanced frequencies and schedules to meet the demand of its customer base in a cost effective manner.

TMD’s research found a heavily oriented school-focused bus network serving widespread residential developments throughout the region with indirect routing that provided costly, non-productive service. After completion of the analysis, ferry routes now serve more direct and linear routing, providing increased frequencies and decreased wait times, enhancing the overall customer experience. Additional valuation and recommendations included alternative and consolidated terminal locations that best met WETA’s service design and operating criteria, while providing increased access and shorter travel times. Final network recommendations included improvements focused on a well-integrated urban network that connects multimodal transit options, providing all-day/week service and increased peak period service when the economics are the most favorable.