Daily ferry riders are apparently beginning to see the way of “The Wave,” as the number of passengers on a new shuttle to the Larkspur Ferry Terminal has risen since its opening-day struggles.
The Wave, a free shuttle from Fairfax to Larkspur Landing during commute hours, made its inaugural trip on Sept. 3 to the tune of 51 total riders among 11 total trips, according to data released by the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District.
The shuttles, which are offered in five morning trips from 6:25-8:10 a.m. and six evening trips from 4:10-7 p.m., seat 37 passengers.
According to district spokeswoman Mary Currie, the ideal is to carry 12-14 passengers on each trip.
“Our goal is always to have a bus be at least half full,” Currie said.
The morning trips on opening day were far from ideal, as only 12 passengers rode The Wave. However, ridership in the early hours has picked up dramatically, nearly doubling in size by the third day.
The afternoon trips have not experienced the same difficulties; an average of more than 40 riders per trip has taken the shuttle back along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.
Currie said the disparity between morning and afternoon trips is indicative of riders’ thoughtful planning.
“People are riding [Bus Route 24] into the city on Golden Gate Transit buses and taking ferry home,” Currie said. “They’re making a smart choice.”
The Wave shuttle was initiated to alleviate overcrowded parking lots at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal. Now amid a nine-month trial period, there are currently three buses dedicated to The Wave, all of which are colorfully painted to keep with the water theme.
Currie said if ridership continues to grow, additional shuttles may be an option.
“Ultimately, were trying to converge a lot of different ideas to maintain and increase ridership,” she said. “Our vision would be to have others shuttles coming from other corridors.”
Currie said the current schedule for The Wave will remain for six to eight weeks before any changes are made, though she noted the district has received multiple requests for shuttles to be made available later in the morning.
This multifaceted approach to ridership and parking issues may experience additional pushback in the coming weeks, as the district is expected to explore the idea of paid parking at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal parking lot.
Currie said people may look to The Wave to get around the parking fees.
“I think it has the potential to grow by word of mouth,” Currie said. “If people try it, it can work for their schedules and needs.”
Contact Gregory Andersen at firstname.lastname@example.org.