Water Emergency Transportation Authority

San Francisco Bay Ferry Rider Outreach

Testing the Waters for Ferry Network Changes


San Francisco Bay Ferry, which serves more than 3 million passengers annually, is operated by the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA). Ahead of making decisions about routes and schedules in opening the new Seaplane Lagoon terminal in Alameda, WETA sought passenger feedback to inform staff recommendations to WETA’s board. 


Our team worked closely with WETA’s communications and technical staff to develop questions for a survey that was customized to the rider experience of Alameda- and Oakland-based passengers who would be most affected by schedules and services run out of the new Seaplane Lagoon. Goals of the survey included informing passengers of the potential route changes well in advance of Seaplane Lagoon’s opening while getting feedback on what the new routes would mean for the ferry’s most frequent riders. 

Meeting People Where They Are

In addition to developing a social media calendar to promote the survey digitally, our team collaborated with WETA to organize on-board outreach. Civic Edge outreach ambassadors connected with passengers during evening commute hours to align with some of the ferry’s busiest travel times and encourage survey completion at a time when passengers would be more likely to participate. In addition to the customized surveys for Alameda- and Oakland-based passengers, in-language surveys were developed in Spanish and Chinese. 

By the Numbers

  • 10,986 people reached on social media
  • 865 social media engagements
  • 545 completed surveys, meeting the survey goal of 500 as 10 percent of the 5,000 weekday boardings for Alameda

Project Expertise

  • Survey development
  • Outreach coordination
  • Social media content development