RICHMOND (KCBS)— Bay Area commuter ferries  will likely be expanding in the coming years with Richmond a likely candidate as the next place to offer service to San Francisco.

Existing ferry service ridership is up 35 percent over last year, and the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) is looking into offering additional service that would also be useful in the event of an emergency.

“There are four potential locations for terminals in Contra Costa,” said Kevin Connolly, manager of planning and development with WETA. “Richmond, Martinez, Antioch and Hercules. The most financially feasible is Richmond,” he said.

A potential terminal would be located off Harbor Way South, in between the Marina and the Port, not far from the Rosie the Riveter museum.

“We are probably a year or two from stamp of approval, but the real thing that drives it, is how long it takes to build boats,” Connolly said.

It takes two years to build a boat, Connolly said. Commuting by ferry from Richmond to San Francisco takes about 23 minutes. Ferry service has proven to be critical in the event of an earthquake or a disruptive event like BART not running.

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