Ice-related Disruptions to Ferry Services in Eastern Canada: Prevention and Consequence Mitigation Strategies

The aim of this paper is to examine experiences from Eastern Canada to summarize and present information which may help operators, planners, researchers, and policy-makers in the marine transportation sector identify potential short-term and long-term strategies for improving services and making more effective decisions regarding ways to minimize the impact of ice-related disruptions to ferry service in ice prone regions of the world. In this study, emphasis has been placed on examining the impacts of ice-related disruptions in ferry service on public stakeholders, since this end-user perspective provides important insights into consequences and associated mitigation strategies. The methodology employed includes a high-level examination of regional ferry services, followed by an identification and selection of specific routes, completion of a survey of publically reported disruption events for these routes and compiling information about reported stakeholder consequences associated with ice-related disruptions. Three representative ferry routes have been considered to assess issues relating to resilience in urban versus rural regions, the availability of alternatives and changes with time, as well as potential strategies that may be taken to help address the most pressing issues are discussed. The main impacts most frequently reported as consequences of ice-related disruptions for these routes are: (1) Reduced access to medical care; (2) Decreased food security; (3) Disruptions for workers and commercial transport; and (4) Inconvenience, frustration and cost to travelers. Most commonly identified preventative strategies for addressing these issues include: (1) New ferries with increased ice capabilities; (2) Increased icebreaker support and ice forecasting capabilities; (3) Infrastructure upgrades, including consideration of alternative ports; and (4) Use of alternative modes of transport (e.g. alternate routes, airplanes, or fixed links). Identified mitigation strategies for reducing the impact of these disruptions include: (1) Increased communication services; (2) Government programs to improve community preparedness and resilience; and (3) Government programs (e.g. subsidies) to assist those affected by disruptions.


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  • Accession Number: 01642211
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 27 2017 10:05AM