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SECTION 3 Ferry Service Typologies This research included a literature review of research on ferries over the last 20 years. This work identifies current ferry industry practices and procedures based on the literature review and an extensive survey of ferry operators that was developed for this report. The 2008 National Census of Ferry Operators (from BTS) reported that ferries operated on more than 350 routes spanning 37 states and three U.S. territories, as well as connecting to seven international destinations. BTS estimates that more than 100 million passengers use U.S. ferries annually. The largest ferry systems were the Staten Island Ferry, which carried 23 million pas- sengers, and the Washington State Ferry, which carried 13 million foot passengers and 11 mil- lion vehicles and vehicle passengers (RITA, accessed April 8, 2010). Ferry Functions Ferries provide three basic transportation functions in the United States within the definition of ferry service. These functions are the fundamental backbone of ferry service, with a hierarchy of importance in relation to regional landside transportation networks (Norris, 1994): Essential ferry routes with no viable land-based alternatives (called Ferry Essential in this report). These are essential ferry routes that provide year-round service to island or water- isolated areas that cannot be reached by road, bridge, or tunnel. These routes typically are operated by a public entity that is part of the regional transportation network, although they may be operated by private entities under government authorization. The routes are seen as marine highways to offshore communities that provide passenger, vehicle, and freight trans- fer to the mainland. Examples include the North Carolina Ferry System, Washington State Ferry, British Columbia Ferry System and the U.S. Virgin Island ferries, among others. Complementary ferry routes that are more efficient than land-based alternatives. These routes compete aggressively with automobile and potentially other public transit modes for time savings and accessibility. These routes are often commuter oriented. A good example is the Staten Island Ferry in New York, which provides a direct, 5-mile connection between Manhattan and Staten Island. The corresponding automobile trip is about 16 miles. Optional ferry routes with equivalent land-based alternatives. Optional ferry routes provide alternatives to automobile travel that may represent some time savings, exhibit greater relia- bility, and provide more amenities. The main goal of increased travel options is to provide al- ternatives to roadways, bridges, and tunnels that may be congested and overcrowded, thereby encouraging people to change travel modes. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the Vallejo Ferry operates on a 30-mile route between downtown Vallejo, a redeveloping industrial town, and downtown San Francisco. Both the ferry route and the parallel Interstate 80 are about the same distance to downtown San Francisco. However, during the peak period, Interstate 80 is extremely 9

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10 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services congested, with travel times approaching about 70 minutes, while the trip on the 34-knot (39-mph/63-kph) ferry is scheduled to be about 55 minutes, a savings of about 20 percent (Vallejo Baylink Ferry, accessed December 3, 2010). Ferry service can be further divided by geography. A typical ferry route is, on average, 11 to 30 minutes, although routes exceeding 2 hours are also common (up to about 40 miles or 65 kilometers). Ferries travel on waterways that are intercoastal (along the coastline), intra- coastal (lakes, rivers, bays, and sounds), and international. These waterways cross urban, coastal, and rural regions (Norris, 1994): Urban areas. Services provide trips within a metropolitan commuting area, with fixed sched- ules, sometimes with consistent "clock" headways, but sometimes with inconsistent frequen- cies. Often, fixed-frequency schedules vary daily to accommodate commuters. Services include point-to-point transit (e.g., across a harbor), linear service with multiple stops (e.g., along a waterfront), circulator service (e.g., fixed route but not fixed schedule), and water taxi service (e.g., fixed landings with passenger pickup on demand). One example is the San Francisco Bay Area where six ferry routes connect the suburbs with downtown San Francisco. Other exam- ples include New York, where 21 weekday routes provide scheduled service across the Hudson and the East River into Manhattan. In addition, Seattle and Boston use commuter ferries within highly urbanized areas and Vancouver has a ferry connecting North Vancouver to the central business district (the SeaBus). Coastal areas. Services provide intercity and inter-island trips on saltwater and large fresh- water lakes. Travel times range from 1 hour to 1 day. Service frequency ranges from daily to weekly and may vary seasonally. Examples include the Lake Express and the Lake Michigan Car Ferry, operating from Michigan to Wisconsin across Lake Michigan; the ferries connect- ing Connecticut to Long Island, New York (Cross Sound and Port Jefferson Ferries); as well as the Washington State Ferry System and the British Columbia Ferry Services (BC Ferries). Rural areas. Services provide transportation across rivers and lakes where the construction of bridges is not warranted. Typically, these routes are short, carry a limited number of vehicles, and accommodate pedestrians and bicycles, and sometimes even operate on demand. Exam- ples include the Bluewater Ferry operating between Marine City, Michigan, and Sombra, Ontario; the Cave-in-Rock Ferry between Kentucky and Illinois; the Washington Island Ferry in Door County, Wisconsin; and ferry services in North Carolina. Ferry systems can also be categorized according to other characteristics, including the follow- ing (Norris, 1994): Commuter and recreational/tourism ferry. Many ferry systems historically have operated a combination of commuter and recreational service, especially private operators who want to optimize the use of their vessels. Public operators also offer off-peak and weekend service in addition to commuter routes. High-volume routes. These routes operate frequently, either as highway ferries or as transit passenger ferries, but do not represent a large number of services. Low-volume highway or transit link. The vast majority of the ferry routes operating in the United States are relatively small routes with low volumes that serve as substitutes for bridges or tunnels or provide service between islands and the mainland. International, interstate, intrastate, or intercity operations. Most systems operate within one jurisdiction. Systems that cross state or country boundaries typically have different oper- ating characteristics than those of commuter and recreational/tourism ferries. Systems in Alaska and Washington are examples where additional amenities and services are provided for longer journeys. Public, private, or public/private operations. In the United States, there are three types of operations that provide waterborne transportation. Public systems provide ferry service where