This report presents an overview of the rise, fall, return, and future uses of ferry systems as alternatives to land-based transportation modes in the U.S. The purpose of the study was to learn more about where and when ferries serve as alternatives to land based transportation systems, their role as travel mode options in the future, and the context in which it makes good transportation sense to pursue the "wet road". The research was conducted in two phases. Phase 1 surveyed and categorized a cross section of 25 past, present and planned ferry systems. Five of the 25 were selected as representative candidate systems for more detailed evaluation in the Phase 2 case study. The five case studies included all regularly scheduled year round ferry routes. The task was to determine more specifically the decision factors for water or land based mode choice, and to identify factors that may influence future ferry planning and trends. The report provides individual case study descriptions and findings for each of the five systems. The case study and survey assessments provide examples of how particular ferry routes serve as alternatives to land based transportation in a variety of locations and specific applications. The detailed analyses identified the basic transportation functions provided by the different routes, and interpreted the historical decision making processes which have resulted in the continuation of expansion of ongoing systems and the start-up of new ones. The conclusions are summarized and recommendations are included.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • See also Volume 2, TRIS 00674088, NTIS PB95-206612; Volume 3, TRIS 00674089, NTIS PB94-104584.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Massachusetts, Boston

    Urban Harbors Institute, 85 Devonshire Street
    Boston, MA  United States  02109

    Federal Transit Administration

    Office of Engineering Evaluations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Norris, C R
  • Publication Date: 1994-5


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 38 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00674034
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Transit Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FTA-MA-06-0197-94-2
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 2 2001 12:00AM