Oakland Alameda Water Shuttle

Overview

07/19/2024 update: The Water Shuttle is in operation! Read our press release for more info on what happened on launch day.

Read our Rider Tips here to have the best experience riding the water shuttle, especially during these first few weeks, which we expect to be quite busy. 

The new water shuttle pilot service launched on Wednesday, July 17! We've added a list of Frequently Asked Questions, posted our printable schedule(PDF, 37KB) , and added info on how to provide feedback.  Sign-up here to receive updates. See you on the water!

Shuttle Schedules

Scroll down to see all three schedules: Wednesday-Thursday, Friday and Saturday-Sunday. There is no service on Monday and Tuesday.

OAWS_ScheduleWeb_Weds-Thurs

OAWS_ScheduleWeb_Fri

OAWS_ScheduleWeb_Sat-Sun

About our service:

  • Free!
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accommodates up to 31 passengers and 14 bicycles (on bike racks)
  • Runs between Alameda Landing (behind Target, at the Bohol Circle Immigrant Park dock) and Oakland's Jack London Square (at the foot of Broadway) 
  • Operates 5 days per week, Wednesdays through Sundays, for about 12 hours each day
  • Two-year pilot, with the opportunity to grow over time

Map of Water Shuttle service:

OAWS_MapWeb_2024-07-02

Service Schedules

07/19/2024 update: The Water Shuttle is in operation! Read our press release for more info on what happened on launch day.

Sign up for real-time alerts: There are several ways to do this, as described here, including by signing up for SF Bay Ferry SMS Alerts, via text and/or email. Select "Route OAS - Oakland Alameda Water Shuttle" to just receive alerts for the Water Shuttle service.

See the schedule on one page(PDF, 37KB), or in our tri-fold brochure(PDF, 2MB). Or, view the schedule on SF Bay Ferry's web page, which includes the best trips to take to connect with ferry service from the Oakland Ferry Terminal. 

Scroll down to see all three schedules: Wednesday-ThursdayFriday and Saturday-Sunday. No service on Mondays and Tuesdays.

OAWS_ScheduleWeb_Weds-Thurs

OAWS_ScheduleWeb_Fri

OAWS_ScheduleWeb_Sat-Sun

Comments and contacts

For all operational issues, contact our operator, SF Bay Ferry’s customer service:

877-64-FERRY or customerservice@sanfranciscobayferry.com

For questions about our service, check out our comprehensive FAQs!

To give us suggestions or feedback, use the form below. This is a pilot project and we want to hear how it’s working for you or how we can make it more useful!

FAQs

General Information / Must Know

  1. Where does the Oakland Alameda Water Shuttle go?
    • The Oakland Alameda Water Shuttle makes two stops, connecting Alameda Landing in west Alameda to Jack London Square in Oakland. Find our map here.
  2. Where is the Alameda dock located?
    • The Water Shuttle stops at the new public dock in Bohol Circle Immigrant Park at the northern terminus of Fifth Street, near Target.
  3. Where is the Oakland dock located?
    • The Water Shuttle stops at the public dock at the southern terminus of Broadway in Jack London Square, just west of Scott’s Restaurant.
  4. What is the cost to ride the Water Shuttle?
    • It’s FREE! Thanks to our funding partners there is no fare to ride the Water Shuttle.
  5. Is the Water Shuttle accessible by wheelchair?
    • Yes, the boat, boarding ramp and docks are designed to accommodate people using wheelchairs and other mobility devices. At very low tides, the gangways from shore to the docks are somewhat steeper. Please use caution.
  6. What days and times does the Water Shuttle operate?
    • The Water Shuttle operates Wednesday through Sunday, 12+ hours per day. There’s no service on Monday or Tuesday at this time. For the full schedule, click here.
  7. Are bikes allowed on board?
    • Yes, bicycles are welcome, including cargo bikes. Please park your bike along the dedicated railing spaces, using the provided straps. A maximum of 14 bikes are allowed at one time.
  8. Can I bring my dog on the Water Shuttle?
    • Pets -- including comfort animals and emotional support animals -- can only be brought aboard the Water Shuttle if they are within an enclosed pet carrier that can fit on your lap and they do not pose a threat to passengers or crew members.
    • Trained service animals or service animals in training may be brought aboard provided they remain under the passenger's control and do not pose a threat to passengers or crew members.
    • For more information about SF Bay Ferry’s pet policy, please visit: https://sanfranciscobayferry.com/pets.
  9. Can I keep my seat and ride back and forth (round trip)?
    • All passengers are required to disembark after each trip. If you wish to immediately return on the next boat, you must exit the boat and get in line. Note that if there are more than 31 people (the maximum number of passengers) already waiting, you will have to wait for the following boat departure.
  10. Does the Water Shuttle run on holidays?

    • Yes. The water shuttle will continue to operate on holidays occurring during regular days of operation every Wednesday through Sunday.
  11. Are strollers allowed on board?
  • Yes!

12. Who do I contact with an operational issue?

13. Where do I send suggestions or feedback?

  • This is a pilot project. We want to hear how it’s working for you or how we can make it more useful. Please send suggestions using our online form.

14. How can I stay updated about the latest schedule and any other changes or updates?

Getting Here/Access/Parking

  1.  Where can I park my car near the Alameda dock?
    • There is a small public parking lot nearby, to the east of Fifth Street, on Tradewind Drive (map). Two ADA spaces and 34 standard spaces are available. Parking is limited to 4-hours maximum. There is also limited on street parking in the area.
  2. Where can I park my car in Jack London Square?
    • There are three public parking garages in Jack London Square, including at the foot of Broadway beneath the restaurant Plank (map). The Water Shuttle does not provide validation for parking in Jack London Square.
  3. Can I take transit to or from the water shuttle?
    • This handy map shows all of the transit options between Alameda and Oakland.
    • In Alameda, AC Transit Line 96 serves west Alameda and stops ¼ mile away on Mitchell Avenue (behind Target). Line 19 serves central Alameda via Buena Vista Ave. and stops ½ mile away near the Posey Tube portal at Marina Village Pkwy & Mariner Square Dr. In addition, from July 27 to Sept 29, on weekends, the Island Hopper will stop near the Water Shuttle dock and provide free shuttle access to Alameda Point.
    • In Oakland, AC Transit Line 12 stops on Embarcadero West between Broadway and Franklin St. Line 72/72M/72R stops at 2nd St & Washington St. You can also easily connect to Amtrak trains at the Jack London Square Station and SF Bay Ferry’s Oakland Terminal is less than a block away.
  4. Where can I safely park my bike near the docks?
    • In Alameda, there are 12 Bike Link lockers next to the playground at Bohol Circle Immigrant Park. Bike racks are distributed throughout the park.
    • In Oakland, the closest Bike Link lockers are in the plaza at the Jack London Square Amtrak Station.  Bike racks are distributed throughout Jack London Square.
  5. What are the safe bike routes connecting to the Water Shuttle?
  6. What can I do if I miss the last boat?
    • AC Transit has many lines serving Alameda and Oakland via the Posey and Webster Tubes. Line 96 stops in Alameda on Mitchell Avenue behind Target. In Oakland, board Line 96 at 7th St. & Franklin St.
    • Check out this handy map to see all of your options.

More Info/Trivia/How come…?

  1. What is the name of the boat?
    • The boat is named Woodstock, which is the name of the Gold Rush era settlement and early terminus of the trans-continental railroad on Alameda’s west end.
  2. Why are there gaps in the schedule?
    • They’re needed for required crew breaks, refueling and crew changeover.
  3. Why does the service not operate longer hours or more days per week?
    • Service levels match the funding available. The Water Shuttle is a two-year pilot service provided by a public-private partnership. The schedule may change in the future to respond to seasons, funding, and rider demand.
  4. Who is the operator of the Water Shuttle?
    • SF Bay Ferry operates the shuttle with their contract provider Blue & Gold Fleet.
  5. Who is funding and supporting this service?
    • This new water shuttle service is being developed and supported by a growing team of agencies and organizations. Click here to see the current list.
  6. What public input did you use in creating the service schedule?
    • The City of Alameda conducted a survey in Spring 2023 and collected over 2,300 responses. The results, summarized here, helped inform our initial launch service schedule. We'll be conducting additional surveys, once the service starts, to collect feedback and hear more about what service the public would like.
  7. Why is the Water Shuttle running on a fixed schedule instead of on-demand?
    • Passenger ferries in the Bay Area currently operate on a fixed schedule, which allows the predictability and reliability that travelers – especially commuters planning their trips -- need. Variability in transit time in the busy Oakland Estuary is another factor. Providing a fixed schedule also allows the project partners to reliably model fuel burn and other variable expenses.
      The plan is for the ferry to run on its schedule regardless of whether there are passengers waiting to board – the ferry will need to cross to meet its next departure in any case. However, this is a pilot service and an opportunity to learn about what service model best fits the needs of this route and market. The project partners have agreed to review data and make adjustments – including consideration of an on-demand model -- over the 2-year pilot as needed.


Partnership + Funding

This new water shuttle service was developed and is supported by a growing team of agencies and organizations. As of 2024, financial and in-kind support for this free service is coming from:

Planning Background

The need for an easy way to connect Oakland and Alameda across the Oakland Estuary has existed for many years. In the early 2000s, the Alameda Oakland Bike Ferry service operated for several years (see newsletter insert below). 

In 2009, the City developed a comprehensive Estuary Crossing Final Feasibility Study Report(PDF, 6MB) to analyze and evaluate all of the potential strategies for crossing the Estuary either by foot, bike or transit. Seventeen (17) different crossing options were studied, including a gondola, different bridge types, Posey/Webster Tubes enhancements, water shuttle services and a new transit tube. Solutions for the near-, mid-, and long-term were explored. The top recommended, mid-term option was determined to be a water shuttle service.

Since then, the City has been working to create a partnership to fund and operate a free public water shuttle service for Alameda and Oakland, and finally, in 2022, the pieces for this shuttle service came together, with a high level of private sector interest and financial commitments of up to 75% of operations funding. A grant was secured in 2023 from the Alameda County Transportation Commission, to cover the remaining 25% of the costs. WETA also agreed to administer and operate the pilot service. 

The City of Alameda conducted a survey in Spring 2023 and collected over 2,300 responses. The results, summarized here(PDF, 139KB), helped inform our initial launch service schedule. We'll be conducting additional surveys to collect feedback and hear more about what service the public would like.

Newsletter clipping about previous water taxi in 2004

Also: Summer Land Shuttle to Alameda Point

From July 27 to Sept 29, on weekends only, the Island Hopper will stop near the Water Shuttle dock and provide free shuttle access to Alameda Point.