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CHAPTER 1 Introduction to USFS Characteristics The U.S. Ferry System (USFS) is a vital component of the nation's multimodal transportation network, with the capacity to quickly and efficiently move a large number of people and goods across the nation's waterways. In some parts of the country, the USFS is the only means of trans- port and, as such, is an indispensable component of the area's infrastructure and economy. The USFS is also depended upon in times of crisis for back-up transportation when other modes of transportation are disrupted, for evacuations, and for the delivery of emergency supplies and personnel. The ferry system in San Francisco Bay performed all of these functions in response to the Loma Prieta earthquake in October 1989, and the New York City ferry system did the same in response to the events of September 11, 2001. The ferry service system across the United States is extensive. Ferries operate in 43 states and territories, providing service on over 350 different ferry routes. Each year, the nation's ferries carry more than 113 million passengers and 32 million vehicles over numerous waterways.1 The same characteristics that make the system desirable (i.e., the wide extent of service and the pop- ularity of use) also make it a potential target and a potential instrument of a terrorist act. The appeal of the USFS to terrorists may be both in the potential use of vessels and facilities as orig- inal threat sites and in helping to spread a threat in the form of released contaminants. Opera- tional characteristics of the system, such as the need to move large numbers of people on a tight schedule, increase the system's vulnerability and present unique security challenges. The highest- capacity ferry systems rank high in relative risk of attack, partly because of the potential conse- quences of an attack in a small area with a large number of people. This consideration has been important in the development of related security regulations. Furthermore, one of the guiding principles for the identification of critical national infrastructure is the assurance of public safety, public confidence, and services,2 all of which are represented in high-capacity ferry systems. 1.1 Objective The objective of Part II is to present a USFS characterization that will enhance the under- standing, effective adoption, and implementation of security measures. In addition, Part II pro- vides security-related statistics that were used in the development of the guide (Part I) and the accompanying Excel tool. Part II represents work completed under Tasks 1, 2, and 3 of TCRP Project J-10H. Part I is the final product, the resulting guide to assist ferry system operators in the evaluation of security measures to meet security and operational goals. 1.2 Organization of Part II Chapter 1 provides a general background of the USFS. Chapters 2 and 3 characterize vessels and terminals, respectively, by categories that have security implications. Chapter 4 summarizes 25