Edit ModuleShow Tags

Ferry Me Home


Published:

(page 1 of 4)

Chalk up a quasi-victory for public transportation—albeit a wet one. There’s a new alternative to the tiresome commute on clogged Interstate 5 between downtown San Diego and Oceanside, and it doesn’t involve trying to make sense of the Coaster train schedule (though it’s not cheaper than the train).

A $3.25 million high-speed ferryboat that, until recently, was used for marine research trips off the coast of Hawaii has been rechristened The Oceanside Wave and deployed to transport up to 149 passengers each morning and evening between their North County homes and San Diego workplaces.

“We’re targeting frustrated I-5 users who are sick and tired of the long commute,” says Michael Winn, director of development for SCX Inc., which in October 2001 was awarded a $5 million agreement by the San Diego Unified Port District to get the project off the ground—er, off the dock—for a trial run. The year-long experiment is funded through Governor Gray Davis’ Traffic Congestion Relief Program.

Initially, the hydrofoil will make two trips daily. The Oceanside Wave departs the newly built Dolphin Dock at Oceanside Harbor at 6:30 each morning for the hour-long voyage to the existing San Diego ferry dock at the foot of Broadway. Departure time for the trip back is 5:30 p.m. (The March 3 debut was dampened for the nearly 60 passengers when the return leg was cancelled due to electrical problems. Service resumed, with just a handful of riders, on March 12.)

“We’re only starting with one trip in the morning and one in the evening, because this is really more of a demonstration service,” Winn says. “But we intend to expand the service as soon as we get a rhythm going.”

Ideally, he says, boat trips would be spaced 15 minutes apart, with service ultimately added to weekends—and perhaps extended all the way up to Marina del Rey. “Those are our long-range plans,” Winn says. “We’re working on a tourist route, for people who might want to go up to the Getty Museum.”

But for the time being, he says, “Our idea is simply to show that this concept works—and if we do that, we will find private financing to buy a fleet of 11 boats.

“It’s transportation, but it’s fun, too—and that’s really the key. If you’re going to spend two hours a day commuting, wouldn’t you rather do it a fun way? The ocean is a little different every day. I think it’s quite an experience.”

The Oceanside Wave is equipped with a bow hydrofoil that partially lifts it out of the water as it jets up and down the coast at speeds of up to 40 knots (46 miles per hour). It features a computerized ride-control system to take the bumps out of the ride, even in choppy seas, and offers a fully air-conditioned main cabin and outside deck where commuters can sip coffee and munch on snacks while gazing at the ocean and shoreline—instead of grinding their teeth and cursing the drivers in front of them.

A one-way fare is $10; round-trip tickets are $20. Commuters may also buy a monthly pass for $300. The price includes parking in Oceanside and shuttle service in San Diego—aboard Cloud Nine Shuttle—to downtown, Mission Valley, Point Loma and the 32nd Street Naval Station.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Hello, Dolly: The Queen of Country Music Comes to San Diego

Here she comes again! 5 reasons to get your tickets now for the Dolly Parton concert on September 27

(Park)ing Day Transformed Downtown Parking Spots into Public Parks

We explored 8 of them

How Agent Orange Is Still Devastating San Diegans

San Diego vets are still suffering from the toxic herbicide, and struggling to get benefits from the VA
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 27 Secret San Diego Spots
    From hidden caves to dead bodies beneath a public park, here's our third annual guide to all things hidden and hush-hush
  2. FIRST LOOK: False Idol
    San Diego is now home to a world-class tiki bar—False Idol
  3. Best of San Diego 2016
    Our annual and completely subjective guide to SD’s best
  4. The Chilling Facts About Craft Beer
    Why colder is not always better
  5. FIRST LOOK: Decoy Dockside
    San Marcos gets an ambitious, two-story gastro-lodge on the lake with Decoy Dockside.
  6. Top 10 Off-Site Events during Comic-Con 2016
    No badge, no problem—these happenings are free and open to the public
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Win Tickets to Craig Robinson Plus a Hotel and Spa Package

The American Comedy Co. is giving away a hilarious weekend for two

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Win Tickets to Craig Robinson Plus a Hotel and Spa Package

The American Comedy Co. is giving away a hilarious weekend for two

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags