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Update: New Berkeley ferry pilot gets 11th hour permit

Commuter boat pilot program offers cushy cross-bay trips, but only on Fridays for now

Tideline, Instagram

[Update: Although Tideline didn’t have permits in hand at the close of business hours Thursday, Berkeley public information officer Matthai Chakko tells Curbed SF that staff stayed after hours to meet with the company and square away the paperwork.

“We had some staff willing to go above and beyond,” says Chakko. Nobody at Tideline has been available for comment, although they did tweet a copy of their permit.

Chakko says that Tideline’s Berkeley commute is actually a 12-month pilot program, at the end of which the city will evaluate the service and decide whether Tideline voyages will continue at the marina.

The permits allow for the possibility of Thursday expeditions starting in March, on top of the current Friday service.]

Tideline, a cushy new private ferry service based in Marin, launched (both literally and figuratively) last summer, but only today began venturing into waters around the East Bay and the treacherous legal mishaps on its shores.

With boats dubbed the Osprey and Heron, Tideline offers cushy 20-30 minutes cruises across bay waters for commuters willing to pay $8-$11 one-way for views, TV, and WiFi in lieu of taking the bridge or BART.

The venture has been running back and forth between San Francisco and Richmond since November, but didn’t venture further south to Berkeley and Oakland until this morning.

At 7:30 a.m., Tideline’s first Friday commuter shuttle (service is confined to Fridays for the time being) departed the Port of San Francisco for the Berkeley Marina.

However, according to KRON 4, the city of Berkeley claims that Tideline lacks proper permitting, which was news to the company itself. Poor communication has scuttled many sea expeditions before, but Tideline still departed as scheduled. Return trips are set between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

And then proprietors have a week to sort out their permits before deciding whether to launch again. No one at Tideline was available for comment.