By John Ramos

RICHMOND (KPIX 5) — On Thursday morning, Bay Area commuters were able to take advantage of a new ferry service traveling between Richmond and San Francisco for the first time.

At 6:10 a.m., the first ferry boat left from the brand new terminal on the Richmond waterfront. Just 35 minutes later, it arrived in San Francisco at a brand new landing at Mission and Embarcadero.

The shiny new terminal sits right next to the old Ford Auto Plant building and just steps away from the Rosie the Riveter Museum.

“We’re able to use the Bay — not as a barrier, as it is for every other service — but it’s really our tool to get from one place to another,” explained SF Bay Ferry spokesman Thomas Hall.

Aside from getting cars off congested I-80, the service will be a bargain. Clipper Card holders pay only $6.75 each way. It’s $4.50 for kids and seniors and $9 if you’re paying cash.

The Richmond terminal also has 362 free parking spaces where commuters can park their cars.

Officials have plans to vastly expand the ferry network and expect by 2040 to quadruple the number of commuters who use the Bay as an alternative to the highway to get to work.

The San Francisco Bay Ferry website has published a complete schedule of the new Richmond ferry service.