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116 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services Table 8-1. Size and stability worksheet. Desired Characteristics Passenger Capacity Speed Cost Capital Passenger Safety Stable Ride Large Small 25k >35k Cost O&M Cost Acceptance Vessel 1 Vessel 2 Vessel 3 Satisfactory Marginal Unsatisfactory Size boats to meet peak loads at service frequencies of 15 minutes for trips less than 15 min- utes and service frequencies of 30 minutes for trips of more than 15 minutes. Services that follow these guidelines give passengers an average waiting time of about half the in-vehicle time; the guidelines also correspond to the de facto practice of New York Waterways in New York Harbor. Table 8-1 illustrates the tradeoffs that ferry operators make among speed, stability, size, and passenger acceptance. Every market is unique, but Table 8-1 presents a generic template for consideration. Terminal Design Passengers' travel time is the duration from leaving the origin to arrival at the destination. Stud- ies indicate passengers value terminal and waiting time more than in-vehicle time (Evans et al., 2004, p. 9-8). Because the cost of speed on the water is high and is a continuing cost and because, to the passenger, the cost of terminal time is also high, ferry planning should minimize time spent in or at the terminal (both for vessels and for passengers) rather than try to maximize speed on the water. Minimizing passenger time at the terminal should be an important part of terminal design decisions. Ferry docks and terminals range from being simple waterside facilities with limited shelter and relatively small passenger flow volumes to being major terminals with multiple ferries receiving and discharging large numbers of passengers and vehicles. Design elements include docks, shelter, queuing areas, and fare collection. All of these elements should be designed to provide safety and reliability and to reduce time as much as possible. Since waterside locations are particularly exposed to the weather, protection from the climate can be an important factor in providing a good quality of travel. The effect of tides, changing river levels, and waves must be adequately addressed and poses unique challenges for passenger access, especially where extreme height changes are experienced, potentially requiring long or steep ramps to reach the vessel. Docks and Loading Facilities Docking configurations largely depend upon the vessel and the design parameters for capac- ity and overall travel time. Since there are no standard designs for ferry terminals (as there are standard highway designs), great care must be taken to configure terminals to work for the ferry system and the ferry vessels.

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Issues in Ferry Service Management and Operation 117 Figure 8-4. Vehicle unloading. Automobile ferries are typically end loaded and hence have dock facilities that accommodate this process. Departing vehicles are stored at the landside or dockside vehicle staging areas. A critical aspect of an automobile ferry facility is its ability to accommodate vehicle loading and unloading (see a vehicle unloading operation in Figure 8-4). The process of vehicle loading and unloading is time consuming and hence requires adequate access facilities and circulation pro- visions at the terminal. One of the key facilities in this process is the vehicle staging lot. This area allows for the storage of queuing vehicles and a smooth transition between embarking and dis- embarking vehicle movements. The staging areas can be located dockside or landside. Because vehicle ferries operate on a time-based schedule with long headways, passenger vehi- cles often arrive early to enter the boarding queue. For ferry routes without reservation systems, early arrival to the ferry terminal is important for ensuring a space on the next ferry. To ensure on-time departures, the process of staging vehicles for loading can be as important as the actual loading and unloading of the vehicles. Popular ferry routes generate large numbers of passenger vehicles queuing in the holding lanes for the next ferry. Oversold routes can lead to backups in the holding lanes that extend beyond the toll plaza. Because terminals are often located next to major highways or arterials, the queues can create congestion on surface streets and increase chances for roadway delays or incidents (Value Management Strategies, Inc., 2009). Passenger loading areas for automobile ferries are generally located on a floating platform or stable approach (e.g., facilities supported by pilings). The passenger loading area also includes the gangway (between the vessel and the loading platform) and walkway facilities (between the shore and the loading platform) that accommodate loading and unloading. For many years, conventional passenger-only ferry design used side loading. Side loading can use either parallel or linear berthing facilities. The most typical dock design has parallel berths, such as those found at Sydney's Circular Quay. Some dock facilities may have a variety of berthing arrangements to facilitate a range of vessel types. See Figure 8-5 for an example of a side- loading design.

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118 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services Figure 8-5. Side-loading vessel. In recent years, bow-loading designs have gained favor. New York Waterways, New York Water Taxi, and the Staten Island Ferry use bow loading. Bow loading Passenger Loading Examples offers the advantage of faster mooring and loading as ves- Brisbane (Australia) CityCat: Loading occurs from sels can maneuver into the dock and "push" against it floating platforms (some covered, some not) approxi- without tying up. This reduces docking time. Another mately 110 ft2 (10 m2) in area. Passengers first disem- bow-loading advantage is the wide ramp that allows sev- bark from a single manual gangway that is 3 feet eral streams of passengers into (or out of) the vessel at (1 meter) wide. When all arriving passengers have one time. This speeds boarding and decreases terminal disembarked, departing passengers may then embark. time. See Figure 8-6 for an example of a bow-loading Fares are collected by an onboard cashier (for those design. paying cash) and an onboard ticket-validating Interface between the Dock machine (for those holding multiple-ride tickets and the Vessel and passes). There are a number of safety concerns at the dock Sydney (Australia) Ferries: Passenger loading at Circu- platform (Kettleson & Associates, Inc., et al., 2003): lar Quay occurs from a large, covered floating plat- form, which blends seamlessly with the terminal. Height difference between the stable approach and Passengers pay their fares prior to entering the plat- the water. The stable approach to a passenger boarding form area. The facility design allows passengers to facility is typically high enough above average water disembark using the upper-deck gangway, while level to prevent submergence in all but the most other passengers simultaneously embark on the extreme conditions. The height of the stable approach lower-deck gangway. The disembarking movement can range from several feet to over 20 feet (1 meter to is connected to a fenced walkway that leads directly over 6 meters) and is based on historical data. into the terminal. Water level changes. All waterfront facilities experi- ence changes in the height of the water relative to the Golden Gate Ferries (San Francisco): Passenger load- stable approach. Coastal facilities undergo tidal ing occurs from a covered, fare-paid area. Passenger cycles, with normal ranges from little more than 1 loading occurs via one (monohull vessel) or two foot to over 20 feet. Non-tidal (inland) facilities expe- (catamaran) wide gangways. The latter configura- rience water level changes less frequently, as the result tion can serve hundreds of peak-direction passengers of rain, snowmelt, dam releases, and so forth, which in minutes. tend to occur in predictable patterns. However, the changes can sometimes be more severe, with ranges

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Issues in Ferry Service Management and Operation 119 Figure 8-6. Bow loading/unloading. in excess of 20 feet (6 meters). Extreme weather conditions increase the range of changes in water level at all facilities. Height difference between passenger loading platform and the vessel. When a loading platform (dock) is in the pathway between the stable approach and the vessel, the freeboard difference between the dock and the vessel is an access barrier. Because freeboards of docks and vessels vary greatly, there will be widely varied and unique height differences for dock- vessel combinations. This height difference may also vary for a particular dock-vessel pair, depending on loading and weather conditions. Safety features to accommodate these conditions should include the following: Guardrails. Guardrails are critical to ensuring passenger safety because of the inherent dangers of accidentally leaving the path of travel at a marine facility. Edge treatments and detectable warnings. Tactile edge treatments and detectable warnings for the sight-impaired are important in ensuring passenger safety. Changes in slopes, heights, materials, and so forth. The path of travel from land to vessel is likely to have frequent changes, particularly slopes. Changes in the height of the loading platform rel- ative to the shore or the vessel due to tides or fluctuations in lake and river level will need to be accounted for. Attention must be paid to the slope of the ramp for passengers with disabilities. Non-slip surfaces. Most areas at a marine facility will periodically get wet or damp from water spray. The wide use and application of non-slip surfaces is important for passenger safety. Passenger rescue equipment. Passenger rescue equipment should be easily accessible in the event that a person falls into the water and requires immediate rescue. Shelters, Waiting Areas, and Seating Shelters provide protection from rain, wind, and sun. The design of shelters is influenced both by local climate and the desired level of amenity. For example, in colder, windier climates, shel- ters may include enclosing walls, whereas in milder climates shelters may have only partial walls to act as a wind break. Ferry terminal design must take into account any special concerns related to proximity to waterfronts. For example, extremely cold temperatures can contribute to icing conditions that can prove dangerous to pedestrians and vehicles. In ferry terminals, as in other transportation facilities, the provision of waiting areas, rest- rooms, vending machines, concessions, and other passenger amenities is related to the frequency

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120 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services of service and the expected length of wait. There has been little research on the appropriate level of seating required, but, in general, passengers appear to desire some seating and that desire increases as wait time increases. In terminals where the average wait is less than 10 min- utes, bench-type seating close to the boarding areas may be appropriate, along with leaning bars. Larger, more formal waiting rooms may be appropriate in terminals with service frequen- cies requiring average wait times longer than 10 minutes. In all cases, seating is particularly useful for the older people. Waiting rooms for longer waits can include telephones and vend- ing machines and may provide a climate-controlled area in which passengers can use those facilities. When designing seating and determining the desired number of seats, it should be recognized that closely spaced seats may not be used, even though additional people may wish to sit, due to some people's discomfort with sitting close to people they don't know. Another issue is partial occupancy of a seat by a person sitting in the next seat. Fare Collection, Barriers, Gates, and Turnstiles Fare collection influences all aspects of terminal operation. How fares are collected determines the speed of terminal operations, the speed of passenger boarding, and the design of the termi- nal facilities. There are three types of fare collection/terminal design (Multisystems, Inc., et al., 2003): Pay as you enter. This is the traditional fare collection system used in most North American transit systems. In this system, passengers give a ticket to an employee while boarding the vessel. The advantages of this system include simple operations and simple terminal design; for example, payment can be in cash, eliminating the need for a ticket office or ticket vend- ing machines. Additional advantages include the default inspection of passengers as they board (since they are surrendering their ticket). The disadvantages include delays to sailings as passenger fares are collected while the vessel is at dock (when it could have been already in motion). Barrier system. This is a common system for subways and many ferry operations. Fares are collected at a designated point inside the terminal and away from the vessel. Fare control bar- riers, gates, and turnstiles are typically used to control access into the "paid area" and ensure revenue control. The advantages of this system include very fast passenger boarding on the vessel (since the fare control queuing occurs outside the boarding apron), good revenue con- trol through a barrier system, and control of passenger capacity (since the gates can count pas- sengers per sailing and lock when the limit is reached). Downsides include high capital cost for equipment and a reduction in passenger flow at the terminals. Proof of payment. In this system, either the terminal or the vessel becomes a "paid area" and the passenger is required to possess a valid ticket or pass on the vessel and is subject to random inspection by roving ticket inspectors (or the vessel crew at random times). If the passenger does not have a valid fare, the inspector issues a citation (depending on the state law, it can be either a civil violation or a criminal infraction). The advantages of this approach are that it combines the vessel boarding efficiency of the barrier system with the low-cost approach of the pay-as-you-enter systems. The disadvantages are less control over the number of passengers entering the vessels, and the costs of inspection (especially within the terminal, where the maritime crew cannot do the inspections). Fines for fare evasions usually do not compensate for the cost of inspection where a dedicated inspection force is needed. Research indicates that in high-volume transportation systems that experience crowding, a barrier system is usually more efficient because the cost per "inspected" passenger

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Issues in Ferry Service Management and Operation 121 is less (the capital costs of fare gates are spread over a higher volume, resulting in lower over- all costs). In the barrier and proof-of-payment systems, ticket dispensing is required, and, even in pay- as-you-enter systems, it is preferred. At a terminal, waiting passengers can pay their fares at ticket machines or pay booths or to ticket collectors. At an automobile ferry, passengers can pay their tariffs at a toll booth or in the staging area. At larger terminals, several ticket machines are typi- cally provided to handle peak passenger demand for tickets. In all terminals, turnstiles are preferred (as in Vancouver) to ensure that accurate passenger counts are performed for the crew's reporting requirements. Staffed ticket booths are used at more heavily traveled terminals or at major intermodal connections. Passengers can purchase tickets in several ways, including at ticket vending machines and staffed ticket booths, onboard the vessel, or online in the form of multiple tickets or annual passes. Transit and ferry systems are increasingly using either electronic fare media or web-based ticketing (usually combined with reservations). Fare purchase methods are set by the individual operator according to what best fits the operation. Operators that are integrated with a transit agency or part of a regional coor- dination effort may offer universal fare cards such as Seattle's ORCA card or the San Francisco Bay Area Clipper card (Multisystems, Inc., et al., 2002). Figures 8-7 and 8-8 show two kinds of fare collection systems. Access Requirements for Persons with Disabilities U.S. Ferries have generally not been subject to overall guidance on access for persons with dis- abilities, although some jurisdictions have instituted local design practices and formal federal guidance is expected soon. As with any commercial activity, reasonable accommodations must be made for persons with disabilities. In some locations, gangways are designed for maximum slope with flat, rest areas at designated intervals. In tidal areas, there can be conflicts between designs that accommodate persons with disabilities and regulatory policies that limit overwater coverage. Coverage (and cost) can be reduced through more flexible design criteria, such as "gangway slopes will not exceed [stated objective] 97 percent of the time." This prevents minus tides and other infrequent events from dictating overdesign. On vessels, width requirements for various areas should take into account access for persons with disabilities, and concession area design should also provide access for persons with disabilities. Figure 8-7. Ticket gate.

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122 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services Figure 8-8. Smart card unit. Vancouver SeaBus Vancouver's SeaBus service is a uniquely designed maritime link between sub- urban North Vancouver and the Vancouver central business district. SeaBus pas- senger ferry service is operated by two double-ended catamaran ferries, seating up to 400 passengers at a time. The trip from downtown Vancouver to the North Shore is just 12 minutes across Vancouver's Burrard Inlet. There are two terminals: Waterfront in downtown Vancouver and Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. The system is unique for its seamless, intermodal terminal design that quickly moves passengers through the facility. Floats are located on both sides of the ves- sel, forming a ferry "slip." Passengers are unloaded from one side and loaded on the opposite side. Entering passengers fares are not collected; the system uses a proof-of-payment system. The passengers do, however, enter through turnstiles whose function is to count passengers. When the maximum number is reached, the turnstiles lock and stop any additional passengers from boarding. Transit police perform random fare inspections, and violators are subject to a $173 fine. This system allows the 400-passenger vessels to be loaded and unloaded within 90 seconds. Service is provided every 15 minutes on weekdays and Saturdays and every 30 minutes at night and on Sundays. In downtown Vancouver, the SeaBus service connects with the SkyTrain rapid transit system and also the regional commuter rail service. In North Vancouver, the ferry terminal provides transfers to 10 bus routes located on 10 bus berths adjacent to ferry terminal. SeaBus employs about 75 people, including marine attendants, deck officers, engineers, coordinators, and office staff.