Bay Area commuters may have another way to get to work on the horizon: hovercraft. Especially for those living or working in the South Bay, San Jose and Silicon Valley.
It sounds futuristic, but it's really not. Back in the 1960s, hovercraft ferries used to take commuters from Oakland to San Francisco and back.
"There's a history in the Bay Area of hovercraft back in the day," said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council. In a few years they could be herding tech workers to San Jose and Redwood City.
Hovercraft ferries already serve riders around the world. A delegation of Bay Area business and civic leaders recently traveled to Portsmouth, England to take a ride on one such hovercraft. They came away impressed, inspiring Wunderman to send a letter to the Water Emergency Transportation Authority's board of directors asking the group to study how they might be able to bring hovercraft ferries to the Bay Area. (WETA is the transit agency that operates ferries on the San Francisco Bay.)
Hovercraft are essentially low-flying aircraft that are held up by a cushion of air, like a puck on an air hockey table, explained Felix Sargent, CEO of HOVR, a startup interested in bringing its vessels to the Bay.