Before the bridge was built, the only practical short route between San Francisco and what is now Marin County was by

boat across a section of San Francisco Bay. A ferry service began in the early 1820s, with regularly scheduled service

starting in the 1840s aimed at the transportation of water in San Francisco.Sausalito Land and Ferry Company service,

introduced in 1867, eventually became the Golden Gate Ferry Company, a Southern Pacific Railroad subsidiary that,

until the late 1920s, was the largest ferry operation in the world. Once only for rail passengers and customers,

automobile ferries of the Southern Pacific became very profitable and important to the regional economy. The ferry

crossing between the Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco and the Sausalito Ferry Terminal in Marin County took approximately 20 minutes

and cost $1.00 per vehicle, [when?] a price later reduced to compete with the new bridge [improved] Source needed] The journey from

the San Francisco Ferry Building took 27 minutes.Many wanted to build a bridge connecting San Francisco to Marin County. San Francisco

was the largest American city that is still mainly served by ferry boats.Since it did not have a permanent relationship with the

communities  around the bay, the city's growth rate was below the national average. Many experts stated that a bridge could not be built

across the 6,700-foot (2,000-m) strait, which had strong, gushing tides and currents, with water 372 feet (113 m) deep in the center of

the channel, and often Strong winds. Experts said strong winds and blinding fog would hamper construction and operations.