State officials expect early next year to seek bids from companies interested in ferrying visitors from the Marin County community Tiburon to Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay.

About 55,000 to 70,000 people a year now get to and from the island via Tiburon Ferry Inc. Its ferry boards in dowtown Tiburon and drops off visitors at Angel Island State Park. The service is owned is by Maggie McDonogh. She took over from her father Milton.

McDonogh operates on a month to month agreement with the state and, according to a report to the State Parks and Recreation Commission in October, revenue in 2014-15 was just over $1 million with the state receiving about $300,000.

The month-to-month status has been in place since the 1990s but in January 2014, supporters of McDonogh rallied when the state pursued negotiating a long term deal with a successful bidder. The idea was later dropped.

State officials told the Marin Independent Journal that they believe there is interest from companies in operating the ferry on a longer-term agreement. The deal being sought by the state would extend for 20 years. A long-term lease could be in place for the summer of 2018.