Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the one-mile-wide strait connecting San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the American city of San Francisco, California – the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula – to Marin County, carrying both U. S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait; the bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers; the Frommer's travel guide describes the Golden Gate Bridge as "possibly the most beautiful the most photographed, bridge in the world." At the time of its opening in 1937, it was both the longest and the tallest suspension bridge in the world, with a main span of 4,200 feet and a total height of 746 feet. Before the bridge was built, the only practical short route between San Francisco and what is now Marin County was by boat across a section of San Francisco Bay.
A ferry service began as early as 1820, with a scheduled service beginning in the 1840s for the purpose of transporting water to San Francisco. The Sausalito Land and Ferry Company service, launched in 1867 became the Golden Gate Ferry Company, a Southern Pacific Railroad subsidiary, the largest ferry operation in the world by the late 1920s. Once for railroad passengers and customers only, Southern Pacific's automobile ferries became profitable and important to the regional economy; the ferry crossing between the Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco and Sausalito in Marin County took 20 minutes and cost $1.00 per vehicle, a price reduced to compete with the new bridge. The trip from the San Francisco Ferry Building took 27 minutes. Many wanted to build a bridge to connect San Francisco to Marin County. San Francisco was the largest American city still served by ferry boats; because it did not have a permanent link with communities around the bay, the city's growth rate was below the national average.
Many experts said that a bridge could not be built across the 6,700-foot strait, which had strong, swirling tides and currents, with water 372 ft deep at the center of the channel, frequent strong winds. Experts said that ferocious winds and blinding fogs would prevent operation. Although the idea of a bridge spanning the Golden Gate was not new, the proposal that took hold was made in a 1916 San Francisco Bulletin article by former engineering student James Wilkins. San Francisco's City Engineer estimated the cost at $100 million, impractical for the time, he asked bridge engineers. One who responded, Joseph Strauss, was an ambitious engineer and poet who had, for his graduate thesis, designed a 55-mile-long railroad bridge across the Bering Strait. At the time, Strauss had completed some 400 drawbridges—most of which were inland—and nothing on the scale of the new project. Strauss's initial drawings were for a massive cantilever on each side of the strait, connected by a central suspension segment, which Strauss promised could be built for $17 million.
Local authorities agreed to proceed only on the assurance that Strauss would alter the design and accept input from several consulting project experts. A suspension-bridge design was considered the most practical, because of recent advances in metallurgy. Strauss spent more than a decade drumming up support in Northern California; the bridge faced opposition, including litigation, from many sources. The Department of War was concerned; the navy feared that a ship collision or sabotage to the bridge could block the entrance to one of its main harbors. Unions demanded guarantees. Southern Pacific Railroad, one of the most powerful business interests in California, opposed the bridge as competition to its ferry fleet and filed a lawsuit against the project, leading to a mass boycott of the ferry service. In May 1924, Colonel Herbert Deakyne held the second hearing on the Bridge on behalf of the Secretary of War in a request to use federal land for construction. Deakyne, on behalf of the Secretary of War, approved the transfer of land needed for the bridge structure and leading roads to the "Bridging the Golden Gate Association" and both San Francisco County and Marin County, pending further bridge plans by Strauss.
Another ally was the fledgling automobile industry, which supported the development of roads and bridges to increase demand for automobiles. The bridge's name was first used when the project was discussed in 1917 by M. M. O'Shaughnessy, city engineer of San Francisco, Strauss; the name became official with the passage of the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District Act by the state legislature in 1923, creating a special district to design and finance the bridge. San Francisco and most of the counties along the North Coast of California joined the Golden Gate Bridge District, with the exception being Humboldt County, whose residents opposed the bridge's construction and the traffic it would generate. Strauss was chief engineer in charge of overall construction of the bridge project. However, because he had little understanding or experience with cable-suspension designs, responsibility for much of the engineering and architecture fell on other experts. Strauss's initial design proposal was unacceptable from a visual standpoint.
The final graceful suspension design was conceived and championed by Leon Moisseiff, the engineer of the Manhattan Bri
AC Transit is an Oakland-based public transit agency serving the western portions of Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. AC Transit operates "Transbay" routes across San Francisco Bay to San Francisco and selected areas in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. AC Transit is constituted as a special district under California law, it is governed by seven elected members. It is not a part of or under the control of Alameda or Contra Costa counties or any local jurisdictions. Buses operate out of four operating divisions: Emeryville, East Oakland and Richmond; the Operations Control Center is located in Emeryville. The Richmond operating division closed in 2011, but opened again in early 2017 due to a revived economy; the District is the public successor to the owned Key System. The District encompasses the following cities and unincorporated areas: Oakland, Hayward, Richmond, San Leandro, Castro Valley, San Pablo, El Cerrito, San Lorenzo, Albany, Cherryland, El Sobrante, Fairview, Emeryville and East Richmond Heights.
The District's bus lines serve parts of some other East Bay communities, including Milpitas and Union City. AC Transit serves many universities including the University of California, Berkeley. Most routes connect with regional train service BART, in addition to ACE and Amtrak, including the Capitol Corridor. AC Transit routes connect with several other regional transit services, including Union City Transit, SamTrans, WestCAT, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, San Francisco Municipal Railway, Golden Gate Transit, the Alameda-Oakland Ferry, the Harbor Bay Ferry, Emery Go Round, SolTrans and FAST. While most AC Transit service consists of local lines throughout the East Bay, the District provides many Transbay lines. Most of these run across the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge to connect communities as distant as El Sobrante and Newark with San Francisco's Transbay Terminal. Bus service is provided across the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges to the south. AC Transit's primary hubs include BART stations, major shopping centers, points of interest, which are spread throughout the East Bay.
Most routes terminate at BART stations, providing convenience for transit users. The hubs include: Voters created the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District in 1956 and subsequently approved a $16.5 million bond issue in 1959 enabling the District to buy out the failing owned Key System Transit Lines. In October 1960, AC Transit’s service began; the new District built up the bus fleet with 250 new “transit liner” buses, extended service into new neighborhoods, created an intercity express bus network, increased Bay Bridge bus service. In 2003, the District introduced a San Mateo-Hayward Bridge route. Designated as Line M, the service connected the BART stations of Castro Valley and Hayward with Foster City and San Mateo's Hillsdale Caltrain station. A second San Mateo-Hayward Bridge route, Line MA, was added in 2006 and discontinued in 2007. In 2003, a new "rapid bus" line operating on San Pablo Avenue was introduced. Designated as Line 72R, the service connected Oakland with Richmond and operated at faster speeds than regular local service due to wide stop spacing and signal priority treatments.
In 2004, the District began service on Line U across the Dumbarton Bridge, connecting Stanford University with ACE and BART trains in Fremont. As part of a consortium of transit agencies including AC Transit, BART, SamTrans, Union City Transit, VTA), the District operated Dumbarton Express bus service across the Dumbarton Bridge. Beginning 10 December 2005, AC Transit began participating in the regional All Nighter network, providing 24-hour bus service throughout its service area to supplement BART service, which does not operate during owl hours. AC Transit had provided 24-hour service on many of its trunk lines prior to this date, except in the late 1990s due to budget limitations. On 30 July 2007, AC Transit announced that it had entered into a 25-year partnership with SunPower, MMA Renewable Ventures, PG&E to install solar energy systems at its facilities in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, improve local air quality, save money on energy costs that could be used instead to spend on transit service.
In 2008, AC Transit sponsored the world's largest chalk drawing at the old Alameda Naval Base and provided free transportation for children to the site. On 28 March 2010, several major service changes were implemented to reduce a severe budget shortfall. Changes included reduced service on local and Transbay lines, elimination of unproductive routes, splitting of the 51 into two sections, the introduction of limited-stop line 58L. Starting in February 2011, all buses on Line 376 were being escorted by a marked Contra Costa County Sheriff's patrol vehicle through the unincorporated community of North Richmond. Line 376 provides late-night service through North Richmond and the nearby cities of Richmond, San Pablo, Pinole; the escorts were introduced to improve the safety of the service, which had five serious incidents between 5 January and 9 February. On Decembe
San Francisco cable car system
The San Francisco cable car system is the world's last manually operated cable car system. An icon of San Francisco, the cable car system forms part of the intermodal urban transport network operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway. Of the 23 lines established between 1873 and 1890, only three remain: two routes from downtown near Union Square to Fisherman's Wharf, a third route along California Street. While the cable cars are used to a certain extent by commuters, the vast majority of their 7 million annual passengers are tourists, they are among the most significant tourist attractions in the city, along with Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf. The cable cars are listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the cable cars are separate from San Francisco's heritage streetcars, which operate on Market Street and the Embarcadero, as well as from the more modern Muni Metro light rail system. In 1869, Andrew Smith Hallidie had the idea for a cable car system in San Francisco after witnessing an accident in which a streetcar drawn by horses over wet cobblestones slid backwards, killing the horses.
The first successful cable-operated street railway was the Clay Street Hill Railroad, which opened on August 2, 1873. The promoter of the line was Hallidie, the engineer was William Eppelsheimer; the line involved the use of grip cars, which carried the grip that engaged with the cable, towing trailer cars. The term "grip" became synonymous with the operator; the line started regular service on September 1, 1873, its success led it to become the template for other cable car transit systems. It was a financial success, Hallidie's patents were enforced on other cable car promoters, making him wealthy. Accounts differ as to the precise degree of Hallidie's involvement in the inception of the line, to the exact date on which it first ran; the next cable car line to open was the Sutter Street Railway, which converted from horse operation in 1877. This line introduced the side grip, lever operation, both designed by Henry Casebolt and his assistant Asa Hovey, patented by Casebolt; this idea came about because Casebolt did not want to pay Hallidie royalties of $50,000 a year for the use of his patent.
The side grip allowed cable cars to cross at intersections. In 1878, Leland Stanford opened his California Street Cable Railroad; this company's first line was on California Street and is the oldest cable car line still in operation. In 1880, the Geary Street, Park & Ocean Railway began operation; the Presidio and Ferries Railway followed two years and was the first cable company to include curves on its routes. The curves were "let-go" curves, in which the car drops the cable and coasts around the curve on its own momentum. In 1883, the Market Street Cable Railway opened its first line; this company was controlled by the Southern Pacific Railroad and would grow to become San Francisco's largest cable car operator. At its peak, it operated five lines, all of which converged on Market Street to a common terminus at the Ferry Building. During rush hours, cars left. In 1888, the Ferries and Cliff House Railway opened its initial two-line system; the Powell–Mason line is still operated on the same route today.
The Ferries & Cliff House Railway was responsible for the building of a car barn and powerhouse at Washington and Mason, this site is still in use today. In the same year, it purchased the original Clay Street Hill Railway, which it incorporated into a new Sacramento–Clay line in 1892. In 1889, the Omnibus Railroad and Cable Company became the last new cable car operator in San Francisco; the following year the California Street Cable Railroad opened two new lines, these being the last new cable car lines built in the city. One of them was the O'Farrell–Jones–Hyde line, the Hyde section of which still remains in operation as part of the current Powell–Hyde line. In all, twenty-three lines were established between 1873 and 1890; the first electric streetcars in San Francisco began operation in 1892 under the auspices of the San Francisco and San Mateo Electric Railway. At that time, it was estimated that it cost twice as much to build and six times as much to operate a line with cable cars as with electric streetcars.
By the beginning of 1906 many of San Francisco's remaining cable cars were under the control of the United Railroads of San Francisco, although Cal Cable and the Geary Street Company remained independent. URR was pressing to convert many of its cable lines to overhead electric traction, but this was met with resistance from opponents who objected to what they saw as ugly overhead lines on the major thoroughfares of the city center; those objections disappeared after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The quake and resulting fire destroyed the power houses and car barns of both the Cal Cable and the URR's Powell Street lines, together with the 117 cable cars stored within them; the subsequent race to rebuild the city allowed the URR to replace most of its cable car lines with electric streetcar lines. At the same time the independent Geary Street line was replaced by a municipally owned electric streetcar line – the first line of the San Francisco Municipal Railway. By 1912, only eight cable car lines remained, all with steep gradients impassable to electric streetcars.
In the 1920s and 1930s, these remaining lines came under pressure from the much improved buses of the era, which could now climb steeper hills than the electric streetcar. By 1944, the only cable cars remaining were the two Powell Street lines – by under munic
The Capitol Corridor is a 270-mile passenger train route operated by Amtrak between San Jose and Auburn, California. Most trains operate between San Jose and Sacramento parallel to Interstate 880 and Interstate 80. One round trip per day runs from Oakland through the eastern Sacramento suburbs to Auburn, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Capitol Corridor trains started in 1991. Like all regional trains in California, the Capitol Corridor is operated by a joint powers authority; the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority is governed by a board that includes two elected representatives from each of eight counties the train travels through. The CCJPA contracts with the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District to provide day-to-day management, Amtrak to operate and maintain the rolling stock; the California Department of Transportation provides the funding and owns the rolling stock. The First Transcontinental Railroad was completed to Oakland from the south in 1869. Following the completion of the California Pacific Railroad in 1879, most long-distance service of the Southern Pacific reached Oakland from the north.
Long-distance service from the south ran to San Francisco via the Peninsula. The Western Pacific Railroad and Santa Fe Railroad ran long-distance service with limited local stops. Commuter service around Oakland was provided by the electric interurban trains of the SP-owned East Bay Electric Lines and Key System. By the end of the 1930s, the SP operated five daily local round trips plus a number of long-distance trains between Oakland and Sacramento; the Oakland Lark and an unnamed local train provided local service between Oakland and San Jose on the Coast Line. The inland Niles Subdivision was served by a daily Oakland–Tracy local and a commute-timed Oakland–San Jose local; the Oakland–San Jose trip on the Niles Subdivision was discontinued on September 29, 1940, followed by the Oakland–Tracy trip in 1941. The two Oakland–San Jose trips on the Coast Line were discontinued on May 1, 1960; the last local service between Oakland and Sacramento was the Senator, discontinued by the SP on May 31, 1962.
At the start of the 1990s, three Amtrak intercity trains operated in the Bay Area: the long-distance California Zephyr and Coast Starlight, the regional San Joaquin. Of the three lines, only the Coast Starlight ran between San Jose and Sacramento—once a day in each direction, at inconvenient times. In 1990, California voters passed two ballot propositions providing $105 million to expand service along the route; the new service, named Capitols, debuted on December 12, 1991 with three daily round trips between San Jose and Sacramento. Of these, a single round trip continued to an eastern Sacramento suburb. One of the ballot propositions, Proposition 116, provided the name Capitol Corridor—so named because it links the location of California's first state capitol, San Jose, with the current location, Sacramento; the service was known as the Capitols until April 29, 2001, when Amtrak renamed it the Capitol Corridor. The Capitols ran via the Coast Line from Elmhurst to Santa Clara, with no stops between Oakland and San Jose.
In 1992, after the completion of track and signal work, the Capitols were rerouted onto the Niles Subdivision further inland between Elmhurst and Newark. The new route allowed the addition of infill stations at Fremont in 1993 and Hayward in 1997; the Oakland Central station, damaged by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, was closed in 1994, replaced by new stations at Emeryville in 1993 and Oakland – Jack London Square in 1995. Additional infill stations were added at Santa Clara – Great America in 1993, Oakland Coliseum in 2005, the existing Caltrain station in Santa Clara – University in 2012, at Fairfield–Vacaville in 2017. One daily round trip was extended east to Colfax via Rocklin and Auburn on January 26, 1998; the trip was cut back to Auburn on February 27, 2000. Service was increased from the original three daily round trips; the fifth round trip was added in November 1998, followed by the sixth in February 1999. Installation of positive train control along the route was completed by November 2018.
Additional stations have been proposed along the route at Hercules and Dixon. The Capitol Corridor Vision Implementation Plan is a long range outline of possible improvements to the service. Near term suggested improvements include double tracking between San Jose and a realignment to the Coast Subdivision and a new station at the Ardenwood Park-and-Ride followed by track improvements between Emeryville and Richmond. Goals include tunneling under Jack London Square to eliminate the street-running section there, rerouting freight traffic over another right-of-way between Sacramento and Martinez, eventual electrification of the line. Funding for Capitol Corridor upgrades in the amount of $93 million was allocated by Senate Bill 1 in 2018, part of which are being used to plan the realignment to the Coast Subdivision and the new station from the Vision Plan; this project lays the groundwork for future double tracking and service increases along the re-rou
The Coast Starlight is a passenger train operated by Amtrak on the West Coast of the United States. It runs from Seattle, Washington, to Los Angeles, via the San Francisco Bay Area; the train was the first to offer direct service between the two cities. Its name is a combination of the Coast Daylight and the Starlight; the train has operated continuously since Amtrak's formation in 1971. Unique among Amtrak's long-distance trains, the Coast Starlight featured a Hi-Level lounge for sleeping car passengers — the "Pacific Parlour Car" —, discontinued in February 2018. Before the formation of Amtrak, no one passenger train ran the length of the West Coast; the closest equivalent was the Southern Pacific Railroad's West Coast, which ran via the San Joaquin Valley from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon from 1924 to 1949, with through cars to Seattle via the Great Northern Railway. By 1971, the SP operated just two daily trains between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area: the Los Angeles–San Francisco Coast Daylight via the Coast Line, the Los Angeles–Oakland San Joaquin Daylight via the Central Valley.
The SP operated the tri-weekly Cascade between Oakland and Portland, Oregon. The Burlington Northern Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad ran three daily round trips between Portland and Seattle; the Santa Fe ran the San Diegan between San Diego. With the start of Amtrak operations on May 1, 1971, a single train began running between Seattle and San Diego; the unnamed train ran three days a week. On November 14, Amtrak extended the Oakland–Los Angeles train to San Diego, renumbered it to #12/13, renamed it Coast Daylight; the Seattle–San Diego train became the Coast Daylight/Starlight northbound and Coast Starlight/Daylight southbound. Both trains were cut back from San Diego to Los Angeles in April 1972, replaced by a third San Diegan. On June 10, 1973, Amtrak began running the combined Coast Daylight/Starlight daily for the summer months. Positive response led to Amtrak to retain this service, the Coast Daylight name was dropped on May 19, 1974. An additional train, the Spirit of California, ran the section of the route between Sacramento and Los Angeles on an overnight schedule from October 25, 1981 to September 30, 1983.
From November 10, 1996 to October 25, 1997, through coaches were transferred between the Coast Starlight and San Diegan at Los Angeles. The Coast Starlight used the Southern Pacific West Valley Line between Tehama and Davis; that route bypassed Sacramento. On April 26, 1982, the train was rerouted via Roseville on the Southern Pacific Valley Subdivision and Martinez Subdivision, with stops added at Sacramento and Chico, per request from the state. In 1999, the Coast Starlight was rerouted onto the more direct ex-Western Pacific Sacramento Subdivision between Marysville and Sacramento, with the Marysville stop closed. Ridership declined by 26% between 1999–2005 as freight congestion and track maintenance on the Union Pacific Railroad reduced the Coast Starlight's on-time performance to 2%, which Amtrak characterized as "dismal." By mid-summer in 2006 delays of 5–11 hours were common. Critics dubbed the train the Star-late. During early summer 2008, the Coast Starlight was relaunched with new amenities and refurbished equipment.
In July 2008, refurbished Pacific Parlour cars returned to service as part of the relaunch. This was due to the success of Amtrak's relaunches of the Empire Builder. Between FY2008 and FY2009, ridership on the Coast Starlight jumped 15% from 353,657 passengers to 406,398 passengers. Operating conditions on the UP improved as well. Service was suspended north of Sacramento for a month in 2017 after a freight derailment damaged a bridge near Mount Shasta, California. On February 24, 2019, train #11 struck a fallen tree near Oakridge, Oregon after a rare heavy snowstorm; the train was stranded for 36 hours before tracks could be cleared for a Union Pacific locomotive to tow the train back to Eugene-Springfield. The 2018 California State Rail Plan, prepared by Caltrans, outlines a number of planned improvements to rail infrastructure in the state of California; these proposals include near-term plans to create additional stops on the Coast Subdivision at Soledad and King City for use by the Coast Starlight.
There is a proposal in the Capitol Corridor Vision plan to improve the right-of-way shared by the Capitol Corridor and Coast Starlight between Oakland and Martinez. The proposal would re-route the train from along the coastline to a new tunnel through Franklin Canyon and a right-of-way next to California State Route 4 that would reduce the trip time by several minutes. Except for two sections, most of the Coast Starlight route is on former Southern Pacific lines now owned by the Union Pacific Railroad; the Coast Starlight runs over the following lines: BNSF Seattle Subdivision: Seattle to Portland, Oregon UP Brooklyn Subdivision: Portland to Eugene, Oregon UP Cascade Subdivision: Eugene to Klamath Falls, Oregon UP Black Butte Subdivision: Klamath Falls to Dunsmuir, California UP Valley Subdivision: Dunsmuir to Marysville, California UP Sacramento Subdivision: Marysville to Sacramento, California UP Martinez Subdivision: Sacramento to Oakland UP Niles Subdivision: Oakland to Elmhurst UP Coast Subdivision: Elmhurst to San Luis Obispo UP Santa Barbara Subdivision: San Luis Obispo to Moorpark, California UP/Metrolink Ventura Subdivision: Moorpark to Taylor Yard, Los Angeles Metrolink River Subdivision: Taylor Yard to Los Angeles Union StationThe Coast Starlight is divert
Golden Gate Ferry
Golden Gate Ferry is a commuter ferry service operated by the Golden Gate Bridge and Transportation District in the Bay Area of Northern California. Regular service is run to the Ferry Building in San Francisco from Larkspur and Tiburon in Marin County, with additional service from Larkspur to Oracle Park for San Francisco Giants games; the ferry service is funded by passenger fares and Golden Gate Bridge tolls. Golden Gate Ferry operates regular passenger ferry service on three routes: Larkspur Landing to the San Francisco Ferry Building Sausalito Ferry Terminal to the San Francisco Ferry Building Tiburon Ferry Terminal to the San Francisco Ferry BuildingLimited service is operated from Larkspur to Oracle Park for all San Francisco Giants baseball home games. Supplemental service is provided for special events; the Larkspur route has the most service, with 4 weekend round trips. The Tiburon route has 6 weekend round trips; the Sausalito round has no off-peak or weekend service. Service to Sausalito began in 1970, followed by service to Larkspur started in 1976.
Service to Oracle Park started in 2000. Tiburon service began on March 6, 2017. Golden Gate Ferry fares differ by route, passenger type, method of payment. Free transfers to/from. Free transfers to/from Muni service in San Francisco were discontinued in 2010, though a small transfer discount was retained. Golden Gate Ferry has a fleet of three monohull vessels. All ferries can carry bicycles. All ferries have on-board refreshments, including a full bar; the monohull vessels are named M. S. Marin, M. S. San Francisco, M. S. Sonoma; the Marin can carry 750 passengers, the San Francisco and Sonoma can carry 630 passengers each. They were purchased from Philip F. Spaulding & Associates in San Diego in 1976–1977, they were powered by gas turbine water jets but were converted to diesel engine propeller drives in 1983–1985. More efficient diesel engines were installed in 2001 and 2002; the Marin was refurbished from November 2006 to July 2007. The catamarans the MV Del Norte, MV Golden Gate, MV Mendocino, MV Napa All have a capacity of 450 passengers except the 400-passenger Del Norte.
The 1998-built Del Norte and 2001-built Mendocino were built for Golden Gate Ferry to allow faster and more frequent service than the monohull ferries. The Napa and Golden Gate were purchased from Washington State Ferries in January 2009; the Napa underwent refurbishment starting in late 2009. In late 2018, Golden Gate Ferry reached an agreement to lease the MV Millennium from Rhode Island Fast Ferry for one year for $2.5 million. The Millennium will allow full service to continue while the Marin and Sonoma have major work and other ferries are repaired. Golden Gate Ferry began service in 1970 with the M. S. Golden Gate. Before she was retired in 2004, she made 42,108 round trips between Sausalito and San Francisco, carried 21 million passengers and traveled nearly 1.3 million nautical miles. Official website Golden Gate Bridge District
San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun Bay estuaries in the northern part of the U. S. state of California. Although the exact boundaries of the region vary depending on the source, the Bay Area is defined by the Association of Bay Area Governments to include the nine counties that border the aforementioned estuaries: Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and San Francisco. Other sources may exclude parts of or entire counties, or expand the definition to include neighboring counties that don't border the bay such as San Benito, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz. Home to 7.68 million people, Northern California's nine-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns and associated regional and national parks, connected by a complex multimodal transportation network. The larger combined statistical area of the region, which includes twelve counties, is the second-largest in California, the fifth-largest in the United States, the 41st-largest urban area in the world with 8.75 million people.
The Bay Area's population is ethnically diverse: for example half of the region's residents are Hispanic, African American, or Pacific Islander, all of whom have a significant presence throughout the region. The earliest archaeological evidence of human settlements in the Bay Area dates back to 3000 BC. In 1769, the Bay Area was inhabited by the Ohlone people when a Spanish exploration party led by Gaspar de Portolà entered the Bay – the first documented European visit to the Bay Area. After Mexico established independence from Spain in 1821, the region was controlled by the Mexican government until the United States purchased the territory in 1846 during the Mexican–American War. Soon after, discovery of gold in California attracted a flood of treasure seekers, many using ports in the Bay Area as an entry point. During the early years of California's statehood, state legislative business rotated between three locations in the Bay Area before a permanent state capital was established in Sacramento.
A major earthquake leveled the city of San Francisco and environs in 1906, but the region rebuilt in time to host the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. During World War II, the Bay Area played a major role in America's war effort in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, with San Francisco's Fort Mason acting as a primary embarkation point for American forces. In 1945, the United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco, establishing the United Nations, in 1951, the Treaty of San Francisco ended the U. S.'s war with Japan. Since the Bay Area has experienced numerous political and artistic movements, developing unique local genres in music and art and establishing itself as a hotbed of progressive politics. Economically, the post-war Bay Area saw huge growth in the financial and technology industries, creating a vibrant and diverse economy with a gross domestic product of over $800 billion, home to the second highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the United States. Despite its urban character, the San Francisco Bay is one of California's most ecologically important habitats, providing key ecosystem services such as filtering pollutants and sediments from the rivers, supporting a number of endangered species.
The region is known for the complexity of its landforms, the result of millions of years of tectonic plate movements. Because the Bay Area is crossed by six major earthquake faults, the region is exposed to hazards presented by large earthquakes; the climate is temperate and very mild, is ideal for outdoor recreational and athletic activities such as hiking. The Bay Area is host to seven professional sports teams and is a cultural center for music and the arts, it is host to several institutions of higher education, ranging from primary schools to major research universities. Home to 101 municipalities and nine counties, governance in the Bay Area is multifaceted and involves numerous local and regional actors, each with wide-ranging and overlapping responsibilities; the borders of the San Francisco Bay Area are not delineated, the unique development patterns influenced by the region's topography, as well as unusual commute patterns caused by the presence of three central cities and employment centers located in various suburban locales, has led to considerable disagreement between local and federal definitions of the area.
Because of this, professor of geography at the University of California, Berkeley Richard Walker claimed that "no other U. S. city-region is as definitionally challenged."When the region began to develop during and after World War II, local planners settled on a nine-county definition for the Bay Area, consisting of the counties that directly border the San Francisco, San Pablo, Suisun estuaries: Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties. Today, this definition is accepted by most local governmental agencies including San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Association of Bay Area Governments, the latter two of which partner to deliver a Bay Area Census using the nine-county definition. Various U. S. Federal government agencies use definitions that differ from their local counterparts' nine-county definition.
For example, the Federal Communications Commission which regulates broadcast and satellite transmissions, includes nearby Colusa and Mendocino counties in their "San Francisco-Oaklan