Sausalito Ferry Terminal: Your Link to San Francisco


The Sausalito Ferry Terminal is a vital transportation hub connecting the picturesque town of Sausalito to San Francisco across the bay. With over 1.2 million passengers passing through annually, it serves as a gateway for commuters, tourists, and locals alike.

Key Points

  • Provides ferry services between Sausalito and San Francisco, offering scenic bay views.
  • Connects to local bus routes and serves as a multimodal transportation hub.
  • Features amenities like parking, bike racks, and nearby dining/shopping options.

Introduction to Sausalito Ferry Terminal, San Francisco

The Sausalito Ferry Terminal is a bustling waterfront facility located in the heart of Sausalito, a charming town just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. This terminal serves as a crucial link in the San Francisco Bay Area’s public transportation network, providing ferry services to and from the city.

Operated by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, the terminal offers regular ferry routes to San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building and Pier 41. These ferries not only provide a convenient mode of transportation but also offer breathtaking views of the bay, Alcatraz Island, and the San Francisco skyline.

Historical Context and Development of Sausalito Ferry Terminal

Ferry services have played a vital role in the San Francisco Bay Area’s transportation history, predating the construction of the iconic bridges that now span the bay. The Sausalito Ferry Terminal has been a part of this legacy since the late 19th century, when ferries were the primary means of transportation between Sausalito and San Francisco.

Over the years, the terminal has undergone various renovations and upgrades to accommodate the growing demand for ferry services. In 1996, a new dock was constructed, providing improved accessibility and amenities for passengers.

The ferry terminal’s presence has significantly impacted the local communities of Sausalito and San Francisco, fostering economic growth and tourism while reducing traffic congestion and environmental impact.

Transportation Links and Accessibility

The Sausalito Ferry Terminal is well-connected to various modes of transportation, ensuring seamless travel for commuters and visitors alike.

Connections to Local Transit

  • Golden Gate Transit buses: Routes 2, 30, and 92 serve the terminal, providing connections to other parts of Marin County and San Francisco.
  • Marin Transit buses: Routes 17, 61, 71X, and 115 offer additional local connections.

Accessibility Features

The terminal prioritizes accessibility for individuals with disabilities, featuring:

  • Wheelchair-accessible ramps and boarding areas
  • Audible and visual boarding announcements

Parking and Bicycle Accommodations

  • Ample parking spaces are available at the terminal, including designated accessible spots.
  • Secure bicycle racks are provided for cyclists, encouraging eco-friendly transportation options.

Ferry Services and Schedules

The Sausalito Ferry Terminal offers regular ferry services to two main destinations in San Francisco:

San Francisco Ferry Building: This iconic terminal is located in the heart of the city’s Embarcadero district, providing easy access to various attractions and public transportation options.

Pier 41: Situated near Fisherman’s Wharf, this terminal offers convenient access to popular tourist destinations like Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square.

Ferry schedules vary based on peak and off-peak hours, as well as seasonal adjustments. During commuter rush hours, ferries operate more frequently to accommodate the influx of passengers. Additionally, special schedules may be implemented during holidays or events.

Integration with San Francisco’s Public Transportation System

The Sausalito Ferry Terminal seamlessly integrates with San Francisco’s extensive public transportation network, allowing for efficient multimodal travel.

Connections to MUNI and BART

  • Upon arriving at the San Francisco Ferry Building, passengers can easily connect to MUNI buses, streetcars, and the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system, providing access to various neighborhoods and destinations throughout the city.

Access to Major Attractions

The ferry terminals in San Francisco are strategically located near popular tourist attractions, such as:

  • Fisherman’s Wharf (from Pier 41)
  • Embarcadero Center and Financial District (from Ferry Building)
  • Exploratorium and Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (from Ferry Building)

This convenient access allows visitors to explore San Francisco’s iconic sights and experiences with ease.

Tourist Attractions and Points of Interest Near Sausalito Ferry Terminal

While the ferry ride itself offers stunning views and a unique experience, the Sausalito Ferry Terminal is also a gateway to numerous attractions and activities in the surrounding area.

Sausalito Highlights

  • Vibrant waterfront district with art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants
  • Sausalito Houseboats and Floating Homes Tour

Day Trip Destinations

  • Muir Woods National Monument (redwood forest)
  • Tiburon (charming waterfront town)

Guided tours, bike rentals, and other tourist services are available near the terminal, making it easy to explore the region’s natural beauty and cultural offerings.

Amenities and Facilities at the Terminal

The Sausalito Ferry Terminal offers a range of amenities and facilities to ensure a comfortable and convenient experience for passengers.

Dining and Shopping

  • Nearby restaurants and cafés, including waterfront dining options
  • Souvenir shops and art galleries within walking distance

Family-Friendly Facilities

  • Designated family restrooms
  • Stroller parking areas
  • Outdoor seating and picnic areas

Safety and Security

  • Surveillance cameras and security personnel on-site
  • Well-lit areas and emergency call boxes
  • Life jackets and safety equipment on ferries

Environmental and Sustainability Practices

The Sausalito Ferry Terminal and its ferry operators prioritize environmental sustainability and responsible practices.

Green Initiatives

  • Transition towards hybrid and electric ferry fleets to reduce emissions
  • Recycling and waste reduction programs at the terminal
  • Promotion of public transportation to reduce carbon footprint

Environmental Impact Mitigation

  • Adherence to strict regulations and guidelines for water and air quality
  • Noise reduction measures to minimize disturbance to local wildlife

Future Plans

The terminal and ferry operators continuously explore opportunities to implement greener technologies and sustainable practices, ensuring a more eco-friendly transportation experience for years to come.


What are the operating hours of Sausalito Ferry Terminal?

The Sausalito Ferry Terminal operates daily, with schedules varying based on peak and off-peak hours. Typical operating hours are from approximately 6 AM to 8 PM, but it’s recommended to check the current schedule for the most up-to-date information.

How can I purchase tickets for the ferry, and are there any discounts available?

Tickets can be purchased online, at the terminal ticket booths, or via mobile apps offered by the ferry operators. Discounted fares are available for seniors, children, and individuals with disabilities. Additionally, monthly passes and other fare options may be available for frequent commuters.

What are the best transportation options to get from Sausalito Ferry Terminal to downtown San Francisco?

Upon arriving at the San Francisco Ferry Building or Pier 41, you can easily connect to MUNI buses, streetcars, and the BART system to reach downtown San Francisco. Alternatively, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are readily available, or you can explore the city on foot or by renting a bike.

Are there facilities for international travelers, such as currency exchange or tourist information?

While the Sausalito Ferry Terminal itself does not offer currency exchange or tourist information services, these amenities are available at various locations in San Francisco, such as the Ferry Building and Fisherman’s Wharf areas.

Can I bring my bike on the ferry, and if so, what are the rules and regulations?

Yes, bicycles are allowed on the ferries, subject to certain rules and regulations. Typically, there are designated areas for bike storage, and bikes must be walked on and off the ferry. Additional fees may apply for bringing bikes on board. It’s recommended to check with the ferry operator for their specific policies and guidelines.

SF Citizen Team

About the author

SF Citizen is your local guide to San Francisco, leading you through the city's iconic landmarks, hidden gems, and vibrant experiences. From the historic echoes of the Gold Rush era to stunning hikes in Muir Woods and the rich culinary scene, we provide meticulously curated explorations of this dynamic city. Whether you're planning your next adventure, considering a move, or exploring from afar, SF Citizen navigates you through the diverse neighborhoods, cultural scenes, and outdoor activities, helping you discover and connect with the city's soul.