Monday, December 07, 2009

"the finest example of a 19th century ferryboat afloat"

[Click on image for enlargement.]

"Berkeley is moving full-steam ahead with plans for a new ferry terminal, despite howls from windsurfers and environmentalists that the ferries will bring the marina more harm than good.

The City Council recently approved preliminary plans for a $57 million terminal at the waterfront, just south of the Berkeley Pier. Two ferries, which will run primarily during commute hours, are expected to bring 1,700 people a day to San Francisco via a 30-minute trek across the bay. …

"City Councilman Kriss Worthington opposed the terminal for environmental reasons, saying the ferries create too much greenhouse gas.

"If everyone's so gung-ho about our climate action plan, then why are we not telling WETA (the Water Emergency Transportation Authority) to make their ferries more ecological?" he said, adding that the ferries could save energy by traveling at a slower speed.”

Carolyn Jones “Foes fail to sink Berkeley's ferry plans” San Francisco Chroncile December 7, 2009

Header photo:

"The upper passenger deck of the ferry Berkeley, now on exhibit at the San Diego Maritime Museum.

Launched in 1898, the double-ended steam-propelled Berkeley operated between the East Bay and San Francisco until 1958. It carried 1700 passengers on a 20-minute run across the Bay while consuming only 480 BTU of energy per passenger-mile.

Compare to single-occupancy cars at 7,000 BTU/mile or buses at 660 BTU/passenger-mile.

While modern fast ferries can be extremely energy-intensive, new designs have also been proposed that approach the efficiency of the historic low-speed steam configuration."


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