Throwback Thursday: Golden Gate Ferry hits 50

By Mark Prado
Golden Gate Ferry
MCB via Wikimedia Commons.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Golden Gate ferries plying the bay waters, delivering Marin commuters and tourists to San Francisco.

On Aug. 15, 1970 the bridge district launched service from Sausalito and began to build a system that today includes a terminal in Larkspur, special service to baseball games and events at the Chase Arena.

In the past several years, the system has grown in recent years, transporting about 2 million passengers annually.

Golden Gate helped re-establish ferry service on San Francisco Bay after its demise in the late 1950s. In 1921, the three largest ferry operators carried almost 50 million passengers across the bay. But after the Golden Gate and Bay bridges went up, ferry service dropped and by 1958, there were none left.

But as road traffic began to grow, the bridge district hatched a plan to reintroduce service and others followed suit. The bridge district has a timeline here of its ferry operations.