San Francisco Tourism News

Proposed OAK Airport Name Change:

Azores Airlines, which flies between Oakland to Terceira Island in Portugal, has already begun using OAK’s new name. Screenshot courtesy of @iflyoak on Instagram.

San Francisco has launched a lawsuit against Oakland following the Port of Oakland’s Commissioners’ Apr. 11 vote to change Oakland International Airport’s name to “San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport.” The lawsuit, filed federally on Apr. 18, alleges that the name change would violate San Francisco’s trademark on the title “San Francisco International Airport.” 

While the Oakland International Airport would keep their three-letter codes, OAK, San Francisco’s suit alleges that the Port of Oakland is “intentionally and knowingly capitaliz[ing] off of confusion” resulting from the name change, according to CNN. San Francisco International Airport’s code is SFO.

“There are many, many airports that have a similar or common city or geographic identification name in their title,” said Danny Wan, executive director for the Port of Oakland, to CNN.

As reported by Travel Weekly, after the port’s vote to change the name of the airport, Port Commission President Barbara Leslie stated, “We are standing up for Oakland and the East Bay. This name will make it clear that OAK is the closest major airport for 4.1 million people, three national laboratories, the top public university in the country and California’s Wine Country.”

Final approval on the name will not be granted until the second vote held by the Port of Oakland’s Board of Commissioners, which is scheduled to take place on May 9.

Mayor Breed’s Trip to China:

Breed met with Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng on her trip to China. “We think that with increased flights, business opportunities, pandas, the economic opportunities for San Francisco will be significant,” Breed said in her press conference. Photo courtesy of a SF Government Press Release.

On Apr. 21, Mayor London Breed returned to San Francisco following a week-long trip to China, after getting the country to agree to send two pandas to the San Francisco Zoo.

Her goals for the trip extended beyond securing new animals for the zoo, however. In a press conference, Breed declared, “We were truly successful in our trip, we had meetings with government officials, airlines and business leaders… we held forums with people interested in doing business in San Francisco.” 

Apr. 20 marked the 45th anniversary of the sister-city partnership of San Francisco and Shanghai. Breed and Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng met on the anniversary. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the relationship between the two cities is “the first of its kind” between the U.S. and China.

“Our sister city relationship stands as a bridge between our nations, facilitating valuable exchanges that drive progress, innovation, and mutual understanding,” said Breed during the anniversary reception. 

Breed hopes the partnership between the cities will foster an increase in tourism from China to San Francisco. “We know that there is a demand, we heard it from tour operators who told us that we want more flights,” Breed said in her press conference. “We heard it from people who said they want to come to San Francisco.”

Cable Car Decline:

The cable car was invented in San Francisco, and had its first run on Aug. 2, 1873. Screenshot courtesy of @opvisual on Instagram.

Having recovered approximately 58% of their 2019 ridership, San Francisco’s cable cars have struggled since the pandemic, according to numbers reported by the Chronicle from the National Transit Database (NTD). 

The cable cars have been operating at a loss for years. In 2022, the Federal Transit Association reported operating costs rising to $74 million, with revenues only at $10.8 million, putting them at a net loss of approximately $63.2 million.

Though ridership has decreased since 2019, the service has steadily gained back some of its riders since opening back up in 2021. In Sep. 2021, a month after the service had reopened, 215,416 passenger rides were given. In contrast, 253,762 passenger trips were given in Feb. of this year. Both statistics come from a chart created by the San Francisoc Chronicle with data compiled from the NTD.

In a two-year budget approved by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)’s board of directors this month, the cable car system will be implementing a $5 all-day pass, in contrast to the current $8 ticket price per ride.

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