Cross-Lake Passenger Ferry

As the centerpiece of the regional transit system, the high-speed passenger ferry will link with bus, trolley and shuttle services, water taxies and shared-use trails.


Two 120-passenger vessels will provide a north shore-south shore link that can connect with transit beyond the Basin year-round.

The high-speed service – 20 to 25-minute trips – will cross the lake between terminals in Tahoe City and South Lake Tahoe.

A recent analysis of 10 north-south shore transit options yielded the ferry as the Local Preferred Alternative (LPA).


Terminal construction and ferry operation will have low environmental impact, compared to building road capacity to keep pace with increasing private car use.

As the centerpiece of the Basin transit system, ferry service will motivate non-auto transportation choices such as bus, trolley and shared-use trails.

Ferry service will improve lake clarity by decreasing fine sediment run-off due to private car use. It will also cut commute time and attract recreational riders.


High-speed Vessels

Catamarans are the likely choice for two vessels to transport a projected daily ridership of 1,600 to 1,800.

Terminals Conceptual Drawing

Style and materials will blend with the surroundings. Proposed north and south shore sites are being evaluated.

Status: Upcoming


February 1996 Early waterborne transit analysis completed. Commissioned by the TTD and funded in part by the California Transportation Commission
January 2011 Need for north shore-south shore transit solution presented at transportation open houses organized by the TTD
Spring 2012 Focus groups conducted in Los Angeles and San Francisco to gather data on non-resident north-south transit preferences
April 2012 After analysis of 10 north-south transit solutions, high-speed passenger ferry adopted as Local Preferred Alternative (LPA) by the TTD
November 2013 Notice of Intent/Notice of Preparation (NOI/NOP) for the environmental impact documents published by the FTA, TRPA and TTD
December 2013 Scoping meetings held for the environmental impact documents
January 2014
Public comment period for the NOI/NOP ended
Ongoing 2014 Exploring funding possibilities
Researching vessel options
Conducting preliminary engineering
Updating stakeholder agencies and communities
2017 Grant received to continue the planning process on a north to south shore commuter ferry