Many thanks to you, Ron, in providing the leadership to guide BACGG through this pandemic and in discovering our roots.
Here’s my comments on the Blue & Gold Fleet’s request to stop ferry service. The Ellis Act provides opportunity for B&G to stem losses from their operations, but it is the PUCs burden to provide ferry service to and from Angel Island. B&G’s petition to stop regular service must also factor all of their routes in totality, which calls for negotiation. If they are experiencing losses in their ferry service to AI, it should also factor their other routes to Alcatraz Island, Larkspur, Richmond, Berkeley, SF, and the South Bay. Any losses to Angel Island can be offset via profits earned from other ferry venues. B&G should not be allowed to cherry pick running services to profitable routes. The PUC should provide the public a comprehensive plan for transit to all SF Bay Area ferry routes to include ferry service to Angel Island ensuring reasonable public access on a regular daily schedule. If B&G cannot maintain their profitability, the PUC may want to offer their routes to competitors who can take over their operations. The PUC may also want to reconsider ferry rates and subsidies to offset losses by other operators as well, but ferry service should be maintained to allow access to the island.
Thoughtful and useful ideas Frank. I’m sure you passed it on to those that can affect some of these ideas!
Alcatraz has average 1.4 million visitors a year, almost all taking the Blue & Gold Fleet. The cost of ferry ride and tour for adults is $41 all inclusive. Whereas the ferry ride to Angel Island from Tiburon is $15 plus $5 to $7 admission to the Immigration Station for adults depending on time.
The reason why Ellis Island in New York has so many visitors is because it is part of the Statue of Liberty ferry ride. If you wish to see the Statue of Liberty, the ferry will make a stop at Ellis Island and then you have choice to get off to visit the immigration station or stay on the ferry. Why don’t we push for this with the PUC?
Figure out how much in additional cost for the ferry to make a stop at Angel Island (probably $10) and then allow Blue & Gold to add this onto the ticket price plus a few dollars more for profit incentive. Then add a dollar of two for Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (and the National Park if needed). Just $1 charge will be additional $1.4 million in income for the Immigration Foundation. However, the Immigration Foundation will incur additional costs to handle the expected much larger number of visitors.
To make Angel Island more attractive for visitors, it needs a “pilgrimage” piece – a reason why people must take a pilgrimage to see. My suggestion is ask Maya Lin to design a memorial to honor immigrants as the Statue of Liberty is to welcome immigrants in the East Coast. Most likely, a memorial by Maya Lin will become a pilgrimage piece as soon as it in unveiled.
Frank, now we just need you to lead this lobbying with the PUC and I’ll lead the fund raising for the Maya Lin Memorial.
I like your idea of a pilgrimage piece for Angel Island. Regardless of the B&G issue, your idea should be pursued. As an addendum, Angel Island should be transformed into a resort allowing for overnight guests. There is an area where such a development project that would be perfect. A Maya Lin memorial honoring pilgrims and native Americans would be reasonable.
I don’t know if you are already connected to Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s office. She may provide you extra “muscle power” as you approach CPUC for a solution for Blue and Gold Ferry to continue ferry service from San Francisco to Angel Island. Brian Perkins is her Chief of Staff, San Mateo office. He is : Brian.Perkins@mail.house.gov
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