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Woodstock the Little Yellow Ferry

Alamedans are buzzing about Woodstock, the little yellow ferry that made an appearance on the Estuary this week and will soon be giving free rides between Bohol Circle Immigrant Park—at the foot of Fifth Street in Alameda—and Jack London Square in Oakland. Woodstock’s maiden voyage across the water a few days ago was a success, and the service is expected to start shuttling passengers in June, according to City officials.

Alameda Post - Woodstock the ferry in the Oakland Estuary
Photo by Maurice Ramirez for the City of Alameda.

In addition to being free for passengers, the service will be ADA-accessible and will easily accommodate bicycles. The exact schedule has not yet been set, but the shuttle is expected to operate four to five days a week, seven to 12 hours per day.

The free water shuttle service is funded by a $1 million grant from the Alameda County Transportation Commission plus an additional $3 million from a partnership between the City of Alameda, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), and local businesses and associations.



Alameda Post - a map of the path for Woodstock the ferry between Alameda Landing and Jack London Square
Image City of Alameda.
Alameda Post - The boat formerly known as Captain Jack will be called Woodstock on the Estuary.
The boat formerly known as Captain Jack will be called Woodstock on the Estuary. Photo City of Alameda

The charming little ferry, which looks a lot like a yellow school bus, was not always called Woodstock. The boat originally shuttled passengers at a harbor in Buffalo, New York, where it was known as Captain Jack. After the shuttle was purchased and trucked across the country to a boat maintenance facility in Richmond, it was re-christened Woodstock.

The water shuttle is a two-year pilot project, highlighted in the City’s Active Transportation Plan. It is intended to be an interim solution to facilitating Estuary crossings until a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge is completed. However, survey results from May 2023 show that Woodstock could be very popular—87% of respondents said they would use the water shuttle for recreational purposes, 48% said they would use it for commute purposes, and 68% said they would want to bring a bike onto the boat.

Judging by the comments on the City’s latest Facebook post, Alamedans can hardly wait to catch a ride on the little yellow ferry.

Maurice Ramirez shot video of the boat in action on the Estuary and shared it on Instagram. We are all looking forward to the convenient service starting soon.

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