This study has attempted to evaluate the feasibility of recovering some or all of the costs incurred by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in providing ferry service free of charge at Galveston-Port Bolivar (GPB) and Aransas Pass-Port Aransas (APPA). Because operating, maintenance, and ferry replacement costs at GPB will be more than five times those at APPA over the next decade, if a toll is imposed at GPB this report recommends that it be structured to recover only 60% of those costs. Higher tolls might produce a significant decline in ridership among the out-of-country and out-of-state tourists who make up the vast majority of ferry riders. Local commuters who use the ferry for journeys to work, home, or school would be asked to pay only a small annual fee to use the ferry. A feasible and cheaper alternative to TxDOT's continued operation of the GPB ferry--even with tolls--is to build a bridge from Galveston to the Port Bolivar peninsula. TxDOT could then sell the ferry to the City of Galveston or a private firm who could operate it at reduced levels of service while still maintaining it as a tourist attraction for the Galveston area. At APPA, 100% of ferry operation, maintenance, and replacement costs can be recovered with tolls structured at less than $1.00 per vehicle-trip ($2.00 round trip). As in the case of Port Bolivar, local commuters would be asked to pay only a small annual fee, while tourists would be asked to bear the bulk of the costs of operating the ferry. While technically possible, bridge construction at this site would be far more expensive than continued operation of the ferry over the next 20 years, and would pose significant obstacles to ship channel traffic in the area.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Research study title: Ferry Operations Feasibility Study.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Texas Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System, 1600 E Lamar Boulevard
    Arlington, TX  United States  76011

    Texas Department of Transportation

    Transportation Planning Division, P.O. Box 5051
    Austin, TX  United States  78763
  • Authors:
    • Luker Jr, W A
  • Publication Date: 1991-6

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Tables;
  • Pagination: 33 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00618053
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TX/90-1930, Res Rept 1930-1F, TTI: 2-18-91-1930
  • Contract Numbers: Study 2-18-91-1930
  • Created Date: Dec 31 1991 12:00AM