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SECTION 1 Introduction Background The purpose of this research is to investigate the state of ferry transit operations in North America and to develop practitioners' guidance for the planning, marketing, operation, and management of ferry transportation systems. The research is intended to present a uniform un- derstanding of the status of ferries as well as options for how to approach planning and opera- tional activities. This guidebook is intended for use by operators large and small, in publicly or privately owned operations, for the development of ferry operations as a solution to a transporta- tion need. This research was developed through literature searches of previous studies, reviews of exist- ing government and state documents, telephone interviews with a broad selection of ferry oper- ators, in-depth case studies of eight ferry operators/ferry systems geographically dispersed across the North American continent, and peer review of the interim documents. The main body of this report contains the case studies and a guidebook. Two appendices pro- vide additional information to support the work documented within the main body of the re- port. Appendix A provides a listing of literature review sources, and Appendix B documents the results of a survey of ferry operators that was developed and implemented in this research. Objectives and Methodology The overall purpose of the research reported herein was to develop guidance for selecting water/ferry transit as the appropriate solution to an access requirement and guidance for oper- ating ferry services. An initial task was to develop a definition of ferry service in order to focus the practice guide- lines. Additional tasks focused on segmenting ferry service types, identifying appropriate roles for ferry service, and spotlighting operational practices to ensure well-operated and safe ferry systems. The end result is a list of criteria that decisionmakers and potential ferry operators can use to test the viability of potential services and operations. An important output of the research is a ferry service development process work flow that out- lines the steps necessary to take a ferry project from conception to initiation (see Figure 1-1). 3
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4 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services Problem Identification Assessment of All Transit Alternatives - Incorporation of Goals, Criteria, and Measures Strategic Plan Process Analysis of Ferry Alternative Assess Economic and Determine Efficiency Financial Impacts and Effectiveness Go/No-Go No-Go Decision Decision Go Decision Develop Finance and Capital Plan Select Procurement Model Business Plan Process Direct Operation Publicly Sponsored Contract Select and Procure Vessels Select Contract Operator Develop Operating Plan Develop Contract Contractor Develops and Budget Management Plan Operating Plan for Approval Develop Marketing Plan Develop Marketing Plan Initiate Operations Initiate Operations Figure 1-1. Ferry service development process.