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Best Transit Party 

Alameda/Oakland Ferry

It's 5:20 Friday afternoon, you've just left your office in downtown San Francisco, and you are not looking forward to boarding the automaton-filled BART train back to the East Bay. Then suddenly you remember, it's the last Friday of the month, and it's time to party on the Alameda/Oakland Ferry! For the past four years, weary commuters have come together each month to chat, drink, nibble hors d'oeuvres, and enjoy the ad hoc ferry band made up of musically inclined passengers as they float their way east across the bay. All are welcome, and the merriment is included in the normal $5 one-way fare, except for alcoholic beverages, which are conveniently available at the ferry bar. Some commuters enjoy the party so much they just keep floating back and forth between San Francisco, Alameda, and Oakland until the music stops, which generally happens two to four hours after it all begins. The ferry party, as well as the two- to eight-member band, has a different theme each month, which has included "Mardi Gras," "South Pacific," and "Leap Into Spring." The volunteer ferry party committee is spearheaded by Robert Claire, who makes fliers announcing the monthly theme and, along with his wife, provides most of the snacks. Check the Web site for ferry schedules, or just show up for the party on the last Friday of the month.


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