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Issues in Ferry Service Management and Operation 123 Energy and Environmental Impacts Boats use more energy to travel than land vehicles, especially at speeds above 25 knots. However, ferry systems can offer environmental tradeoffs that offset their operational energy consumption. Fuel Use As fuel prices have increased and carbon emissions have become an important public policy concern, the fuel use of ferries has become increasingly important. As an example, a fast ferry (which travels at speeds above 25 knots) can use about 200 gallons of fuel per hour. This level of fuel use represents almost half the hourly operational cost of the ferry service. Several ferry oper- ators have retrofitted their engines to more efficient models. This retrofitting either increases power or decreases fuel consumption. It is important for ferry operators to choose the right size ferry to make the most efficient use of fuel since fuel represents such a large part of ferry operat- ing costs. When comparing potential transportation investments, the embedded energy cost of, for example, a new bridge or a rail system, should be considered against the ferry's operational fuel consumption. Environmental Impacts Impacts on the environment are closely related to emissions and to impacts on shorelines and marine life. As the case studies conducted for this research indicate, it is appropriate and benefi- cial for proposers of ferry service to assess these impacts comprehensively and transparently. The impacts on marine life can be identified in an environmental study and mitigations proposed, and improvements in hull design and operational protocols can mitigate wake/wash impacts. Reducing fuel use can reduce costs, and reducing fuel use through improved engines, better hull designs, and thoughtful routings also benefits the environment. In the analysis of ferry oper- ation, tradeoffs are constantly being made among speed, power, fuel consumption, and emis- sions. Tradeoffs can also be made within emissions; for example, reducing NOx can require heavy catalytic converters that add weight, which results in more fuel consumption, which results in more carbon dioxide emissions. Noise can be an important consideration in urban areas, again requiring more thoughtful design. A thorough analysis can provide decisionmakers with empir- ical information to use in making tradeoffs. When compared to other alternatives in a corridor analysis, ferries may provide a net benefit in emissions. In many metropolitan areas, bridges and tunnels are at capacity in the peak travel period, but not outside the peak period. Building a new fixed crossing involves huge impacts and cost simply to solve a 4- or 5-hour congestion problem. In such a case, a ferry could be a better option as it could result in fewer impacts (just the embedded energy cost of a new crossing can easily exceed the operation energy cost of a ferry operation for many generations). Land Use and Traffic and Transit Coordination Issues Like all other transportation services and facilities, ferries play an important role in providing access to land use and increasing the value of land. Societies balance economic development against environmental protection; transportation facilities and activities support both goals. Ferries can be a preferred transportation service that operates from an area that has travel pat- terns that are direct for ferries but indirect for landside travel. Ferries can also be located in an urban redevelopment zone where the local jurisdiction is developing dense, walkable commu-

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124 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services nities, and where services from other areas can "feed" the ferry system. Research suggests that in these transit-oriented areas, vehicle miles travelled could decline by 5 to 25 percent (Transporta- tion Research Board of the National Academies, 2009). This land use pattern fits in many urban areas--examples include decommissioned military bases, old waterfront industrial areas, and vacated waterfront freight transportation facilities (such as antiquated docks and rail yards). The New JerseyHudson waterfront fits this descrip- tion in many ways, and ferry operation has benefitted economic development in these areas. Fig- ure 8-9 shows the San Francisco Ferry Building, an example of transit-oriented development. Ferries located in urban locales are often part of a larger public transportation network. Ferry terminals, given their necessary location at piers or docks at the edge of urban centers, often rely on land-based transit to convey passengers to their final destination. Conversely, in con- gested urban transportation systems, such as those in New York City and San Francisco, ferries can help deliver more workers into the center city than would be possible over the existing con- gested network. Ferries can represent additional, incremental capacity at an incremental, rather than system, cost. As with other transportation terminals, adjacent property owners, neighbors, and government officials often are concerned about the impacts of automobile traffic generated by a ferry termi- nal. Research suggests a multipronged approach to mitigating these potential problems (Recon- necting America Center for Transit-Oriented Development, 2007). To begin with, the ferry Figure 8-9. San Francisco Ferry Building--example of transit-oriented development.