Some frequent riders on the Golden Gate Ferry system will pay more on Jan. 1 if a proposal to reduce the discount they receive is approved by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in November.

Currently, full-fare adult riders who use a Clipper card pay $5.15 to ride the Larkspur ferry and $4.40 to ride the Sausalito ferry to San Francisco.

The $5.15 one-way fare is 38 percent less than the $8.25 adult cash one-way fare and the $4.40 one-way fare is 46 percent less than the adult cash one-way fare.

The District’s Transportation Committee is proposing to charge full-fare adult riders using Clipper cards on the Larkspur and Sausalito ferries $5.80 – 30 percent less than the $8.25 adult cash one-way fare.

Larkspur ferry frequent riders would pay 12.6 percent more and Sausalito ferry riders would pay 31.8 percent more under the proposal.

The reduction of the Clipper card discount is among 33 initiatives the District drafted last year to help reduce a $132 million, five-year projected deficit because of reduced revenues, loss of state funding and the District’s commitment of $75 million toward the Doyle Drive reconstruction project.

The District estimates the change in the frequent rider discount rate will raise $400,000 between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2011 if there is no loss of ridership.

The District, however, has also developed estimates regarding a possible loss of ferry riders because of the reduced discount that ranges between 1.66 percent – or 16,100 fewer annual ferry riders, and 3.33 percent, or 32,225 fewer annual ferry riders.

That would result in additional revenue of only $210,000 to $300,000 between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2011.

The District said 31 percent of Sausalito ferry passengers and 58 percent of Larkspur ferry passengers are frequent riders.

The District also is proposing schedule adjustments and the elimination of some trips regarding the 41 weekday ferry crossings between Larkspur and San Francisco and schedule adjustments only to the 18 weekday crossings between Sausalito and San Francisco starting Jan. 1, 2011.

The scheduled adjustments to the Larkspur ferry would occur in both directions during the morning commute period.

There would be schedule adjustments to five trips on the Sausalito ferry service, including one new morning trip between San Francisco and Sausalito.

The adjustments will save 332 gallons of fuel a day during the peak season and 562 gallons of fuel a day during the non-peak season, or 112,644 gallons a year, according to the District.

At $2.56 a gallon, the District will save $140,000 between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2011 and $280,000 annually depending on actual fuel costs in subsequent years.

The District plans to hold a public hearing Oct. 7 on the ferry fare and schedules changes. A final vote on them by the District’s Board of Directors is scheduled for Nov. 19.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!