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Fifth Generation Owner Hopes to Keep Angel Island Tiburon Ferry Afloat

Maggie McDonogh is fighting to keep her family ferry business afloat again, as the California Department of Parks and Recreation hosts a public meeting that could force her out.

Maggie McDonogh and her daughter Becky stand in front of the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry dock
Maggie McDonogh and her daughter Becky stand in front of the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry dock

After five-generations, cumulating more than 140-years service, the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry (AITF) is fighting to stay in business for the second time in five years.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation will hold a meeting regarding the status of the Angel Island Tiburon ferry run, looking for public input on the contract that could limit the number of ferries transporting to the California Angel Island State Park. Information obtained by residents at this meeting will provide ideas for the development of a new plan.

“I love my job,” expressed Maggie McDonogh, who has run the family owned ferry since her father passed it down to her, “My dad devoted his life to this boat, following in his father's footsteps; I grew up on this boat and my children Sam, Becky and Ben have done the same.”

McDonogh explained that ATIF is the last family owned and operated ferry business in the area, and that she and her husband William work hard to keep their prices low so that families can continue to experience the State Park at an affordable price, “Parks are for the people; larger carriers may have a larger profit margin and as such may not focus primarily on the public’s best interest, that’s not the way we do business.”

“Most of our employees have worked with us for 10-20 years, if the state goes forward with only one company, we will all loose,” she said, “I get to make people happy for a living, I can’t imagine not doing this.” 

The AITF boat's change.org page states that they are not only a local attraction, but an essential element to public safety of the community in the event of a man-made or natural disaster, explaining, “Angel Island Tiburon Ferry’s ability to evacuate people and transport supplies is demonstrated in the 2008 Angel Island fire, as AITF was able to quickly mobilize and evacuate campers, while simultaneously carrying over fire fighters and equipment to the emergency site.”

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 16 in the Cascade Room, 180 Camino Alto in Mill Valley. If you are unable to attend the meeting, but would like to show your support of the Angel Island Ferry Tiburon Ferry, you can sign their petition here.

craig thomas January 16, 2014 at 01:26 PM
Affiliation of Golden Gate Transit services, as well all tourist services pay fee for operations of Ferry shuttle, fee added onto Angel Island park products for sale, Fee food arcade on Angel Island should pay, owners of Food arcade very profitable business.

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