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UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGES OFREGIONALFERRYSERVICEIN NEWYORKCITY

PatrickMcCandless

JUNE2010

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

TableofContents
INTRODUCTION PROLOGUEANDTHESIS GOALSANDMETHODOLOGY INTERVIEWS CHAPTER1:FERRYSERVICEINTHENEWYORK/NEWJERSEYREGION BACKGROUND FERRYSERVICEINNEWJERSEYANDSTATENISLAND ARGUMENTSTOEXPANDFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK KEYISSUESIMPACTINGREGIONALFERRYEXPANSION CHAPTER2:FERRYSYSTEMSINOTHERUSCITIES SANFRANCISCO BOSTON SEATTLE 5 5 8 8 11 11 14 25 28 31 32 39 42

CHAPTER3:RECENTATTEMPTSTOEXPANDFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK 45 THEROCKAWAYS YONKERS LESSONSLEARNED CHAPTER4:CHALLENGESTOEXPANDEDFERRYSERVICEAND RECOMMENDATIONS CHALLENGESIDENTIFIED ALONGTERMPLANTOEXPANDFERRYSERVICE SHORTTERMRECOMMENDATIONS FERRYCORRIDORSFORFURTHERANALYSIS CONCLUSION APPENDICES BIBLIOGRAPHY LISTOFFIGURESWITHSOURCES 45 51 59 63 63 65 72 75 78 81 81 85

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

INTRODUCTION

PROLOGUEANDTHESIS OnFebruary12th,2008,ChristineQuinn,SpeakeroftheNewYorkCityCouncil,took tothedaisattheCityCouncilChamberstodelivertheStateoftheCityAddress. Towardsthe17thpageofan18pageaddress,theSpeakersremarksturnedto publictransitandtheMayorsrecentlyreleasedPlaNYCinitiatives.Whiletransitis generallyahottopicinNewYork,MayorBloomberghadmadetransportationa centerpieceofhissecondtermandwasspendingthewinterinacampaignto convincetheStateLegislaturetoapproveacongestionpricingschemeinManhattan tofinancetransportationcapitalprojects. Itsonlynaturaltolookatournaturalhighways,ourwaterways...tomoveNew Yorkersefficientlyandsustainably.SaidSpeakerQuinn,Thatswhyweare proposingandtheMayorhasagreedtobegindevelopingacomprehensivefive borough,yearroundNewYorkCityFerrySystem.TheSpeakerexplainedthatthe ideaforferryserviceoriginatedthroughaseriesofpublichearingssheheldwith hercolleaguesintheCouncil:
Soonafter,webeganexploringtheconceptofapilotferryservicefortheRockaways,gota commitmentfromtheMayortofunditandthatserviceshouldbeupandrunningbythissummer. ButwhylimitourselvestoRockaway? ImaginegettingonaferryinHuntsPointforadaytriptoConeyIsland. OrcommutingfromAstoriatodowntownwithouthavingtobravethetrafficattheTriboroBridge. OrtravelingfromBrooklyntoQueenswithoutwaitingfortheGtrain. Andthinkofhowitwillenhanceourinfrastructure,openupourwaterfrontsandcreatejobs.1

Twoyearsandtwelvedayslater,therhetoricoftheStateoftheCityspeechcame crashingtoananticlimacticend,asareportintheDailyNewsannouncedthe cancellationoftheRockawaysservice.Theferrywouldceaseoperationsattheend ofMarch.2 PlansforafiveboroughFerrySystemhavenotmaterialized,exceptforanEast RiverferryservingdevelopmentsalongtheQueens/Brooklynwaterfront,currently withtwosailingsduringtheAMandPMpeakhoursisexpectedtooffermore frequentservicenextyear3TheRockawayroutehadnotmetridershipprojections andwasrecoveringonly1530%ofitsoperationalcostsfromrevenuescollectedat


Quinn,Christine,StateoftheCityAddress,NewYork(February12,2008) Hirschon,Nicholas,FerryShortLived,DailyNews(February24,2010) 3Source:NewYorkWaterTaxiWebsite:http://www.nywatertaxi.com/commuters/eastriverline/(Accessed5/20/10); AccordingtointerviewswithofficialsatNYCEDC.
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thefarebox.4ThefailureoftheRockawayferryservice,combinedwiththe cancellationofanothernewlyopenedferryservicebetweenYonkersandLower Manhattanin2009hasdashedthehopesofsomewhowishedtoexploitNewYorks waterresourcestoimprovecommutingoptionsviaferries.Thishasledto questionsaboutthefeasibilityofexpandingferryserviceinNewYorkCitymore broadly. AslargesectionsoftheNewYorkCitywaterfrontarereclaimedfromdecadesof industriallanduse,idyllicwaterfrontparkshavebeendevelopednexttogleaming residentialtowers.Itseemsonlynaturalthatferrieswillsoonservearolein transportingresidentsandvisitorstothesenewneighborhoodsthroughouttheCity. However,recentexperiencesillustratethemanyobstaclesfacingexpandedferry servicesinNewYorkCity *** ThispaperseekstomakesenseoftheRockawayandYonkersferryservices suspension,anddrawlessonsforthoseseekingtoexpandferryserviceinNewYork Cityinthefuture.Newferryservicehascapturedtheattentionofcitizens,elected officialsandmanyintheciviccommunity,butaworkablenetworkofferryservice hassofareludedNewYork.Whyhasanetworkofpubliclyfundedferryservice failedtotakerootinNewYorkCity?Also,Whatwouldamodeltofundaferryroute overthelongtermlooklike?Tounderstandthis,thepaperhassoughttoexamine: 1)TheexistingnetworkofprivateferriesinNewYork/NewJersey. 2)Theexistingtransportationnetwork. 3)HowferrysystemsinothercitiesdoordonotoffergoodmodelsforNew York,and 4)NewYorksrecentattemptstoimplementferryservicefromthe RockawaysandYonkers. ChapterOnebeginswithanexaminationofthehistoryofferryserviceinNewYork Cityanditsreemergenceasaformoftransportationinthe1980s.Theexisting networkofprivateferriesservingtheNewYork/NewJerseyregionisanalyzed. Basedonthelimitedamountofpubliclyavailableinformation,afewassumptions aboutitsoperationsneedtobemade.Theattributestobetakenintoaccount includethecostofticket,headwayintervals,distancestraveled,ridershipprofiles, geographicareasserved,existingavailabletransportationoptions,andhowthe systemwasstarted.Basedonthisanalysis,thepaperseekstodrawlessonsfrom theexistingnetworkofprivateferries. ChapterTwo,examinestheferrysystemsofSanFrancisco,BostonandSeattleas casestudiesthatmayofferlessonsforNewYorkCity.Thefactorstobeexamined
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Source:NYCEconomicDevelopmentCorporation,BriefingDocument

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

aresimilartothoserelevanttothestudyoftheNewYork/NewJerseyferry networks. ThefailedattemptstoestablishlongtermferryservicetotheRockawaysand YonkersinNewYorkCityisthetopicofChapterThree.Theridershipprojections andtheassumptionsbehindtheseprojectionsaredetailed.Thechapteralso examinestheseroutesbackgroundandtheiridentifiedmarketpopulations,and alsooffersadiscussionabouttheoperatingassumptionsoftheseservices.Finally, lessonslearnedfromthefailureoftheseroutesmaybedrawnbycomparingthese routestothoseoftheotherfourferrynetworksstudied(SanFrancisco,Boston, Seattle,NewYorkNewJerseyprivateferries.) ChapterFouridentifiesmajorchallengestoexpandingferryservice,offersa financingsolutionbasedonaTaxIncrementFinance(TIF)proposal,and recommendsstrategiesforexpandingferryserviceinthelongterm.Iffinancedby theuppermiddleclassfortheuppermiddleclass,anexpandedferrynetworkcould besoldasalongtermstrategytoattractandretainhighincomeearnersinthe Citysnewdevelopmentsalongthewaterfront.Thepaperconcludeswithspecific recommendationsforNewYorkCityferryroutesbasedonthecharacteristics studiedofferrynetworksinothercities.

GOALS ThispaperoriginallysoughttounderstandwhyexpandedferryserviceinNewYork Cityhadfailed.Effortstoidentifythepolicybenchmarksreachedbyothercities withurbanferrysystems,wereintendedtodistilllessonsabouthowanetworkof urbanferriescouldbeconceivedinNewYorkCity.Inaddition,thepaper endeavoredtoconstructabusinessmodelforaworkableferrysysteminNewYork City.Unfortunately,becauselocalprivatecompaniesoperatethesmalltomedium sizeferryservices,somekeyinformationwasnotavailableforreview. Giventhisproblem,theauthorthensoughttodrawconclusionsfromthe experiencesofothercitiesandtheNewYorkNewJerseyferries,aswellastoreview themainfactorsthatmayhavecontributedtothecancellationoftwoferryroutesin NewYorkCity. ThispaperdoesnotofferaroadmaptocreateaferrysysteminNewYorkCity,butit doesprovidemeaningfulinsightsandanalysisofotherurbanferrysystems characteristicsforuseinfuturestudies. METHODOLOGY Theresearchstudystartedwithinterviewsoftransportationprofessionals, governmentofficialsandotherNewYorkstakeholders.Followingtheseinterviews, SanFrancisco,BostonandSeattlesferrysystemswereanalyzedusingmaterials publiclyavailableontheinternet.Commoncomponentsforanalysiswere identified,suchastripdistance,ticketprice,existingtransportationinfrastructure, thepoliticalcontextoftheferrysystemsorigin,andconnectionsfromtheferryto othertransit.Theauthorhasconcludedthatcommonpolicybenchmarksfor creatingaferrysysteminNewYorkCitydonotexist. Interviews Peoplelistedbelowwereinterviewedaspartoftheresearchforthispaper.Their contributionstotheresearchwereinvaluableandaregreatlyappreciated. AmitK.Bhowmick,Manager,FerryOperations,FerryTransportation,ThePort AuthorityofNewYorkandNewJersey JanetCox,GeneralManager,FerryTransportation,ThePortAuthorityofNewYork andNewJersey TomFox,President,NewYorkWaterTaxi DavidHopkins,VicePresident,Maritime,NYCEconomicDevelopmentCorporation RobertE.Paaswell,Ph.D.,InterimPresident,CityCollegeofNewYork PhillipM.Plotch,DirectorofWTCRedevelopmentandSpecialProjects,Lower ManhattanDevelopmentCorporation

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

RobertMiller,VicePresident,LowerManhattanDevelopmentCorporation AlanOlmstead,ExecutiveDirector,OfficeofPrivateFerries,NYCDepartmentof Transportation BillWheeler,DirectorofPlanning,MetropolitanTransportationAuthority AdamZaranko,SeniorProjectManager,Maritime,NYCEconomicDevelopment Corporation JeffZupan,SeniorFellow,RegionalPlanAssociation

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

CHAPTER1:FERRYSERVICEINTHENEWYORK/NEW JERSEYREGION

Tobetterunderstandwhyasystemofpubliclyfundedregionalferrieshasfailedto takeroot,thischapterexaminestheNewYorkNewJerseyferrynetworkandNew Yorksownexistingtransportationinfrastructure. FerryshaveservedandcontinuetoserveakeysegmentoftripsbetweenNewYork and New Jersey. Prior to the development of New Yorks extensive network of bridgesandtunnelsconnectingManhattantotheUSmainlandin1883,ferrieswere the only means of accessing Manhattan. In the 1980s, a network of commuter ferrieswasstartedtoservedevelopmentontheNewJerseysideoftheHudson. WhileNewYorksexistingtransportationinfrastructureandrelativelyhighfarebox recoveryratio(comparedtootherUScities)presentchallengestoexpandingferry service,newwaterfrontdevelopmentandtheMTAslongtermcapacityissuesmake acaseforexploringferrysabilitytodecreasingcommutetimeswhileaddingtransit capacity. I.BACKGROUND Priorto1980s5 PriortotheconstructionofbridgesandtunnelsspanningtheHudson,Harlemand EastRivers,ferrysservedanessentialroleinNewYork As bridge and tunnel connections were built in the late 19th Century, ferrys dominanceintransportinggoodsandpassengerstoandfromManhattanbeganto wane. While the completion of the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridge impacted ridershipbetweenBrooklynandManhattan,theoverallnumberofvesselsandgross tonnage of freight carried by ferry boats grew until 1910. This year marked the openingofPennsylvaniaStation,adirecttunnellinkfromManhattantoNewJersey. In1967,thelastferrybetweenHoboken,NJandBarkleyStreet(orBarclayStreet,in Manhattan?)ceasedoperations.6For19years,theStatenIslandFerrywastheonly passengerferryserviceintheNewYorkregion. 1980sPresent7 Three trends have influenced the current reemergence of ferry service. Since the 1980s,existingtransportationnetworksbegantoexperiencepeakhourcongestion.
Cudahy,BrianJ.,OverandBack,FordamPressUniversity(NewYork)2NEEDSPUBLICATIONYEAR Ibid 7Thissectionderivedfrom:AlanOlmstead,(Speech,TheFutureofFerrysinNewYorkHarbor,TransportationResearch ForumNYChapterLuncheon,3/4/10)
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Road traffic had increased congestion for decades, but this phenomenon was new for mass transit. Congestion on the Port Authority TransHudson (PATH) led the agency to study supplementing PATH with subsidized ferry service to avoid expandingrailplatforms. Second, changes in the global economy influenced land use patterns at the waterfront.Containerizationofshippinggoodsledtolesslandintensiveactivitiesat the waterfront. At Port Imperial in Weehawken, New Jersey, Arthur Imperatore purchaseda350acreparcelinWeehawkeninthe1980sthatwaspreviouslyowned bythePennCentralRailroad8.TolurewealthyNewYorkerstohisdevelopment,Mr. Imperatore began ferry service operating directly from his real estate holdings to LowerManhattanandWest38thStreetinManhattan.Aprivatebusservicelinkedto theferriesontheManhattansideallowedforaquickarrivalattheenddestination. Finally, the third trend influencing a revival of passenger ferry service was the improvement of marine technology. Prior to such innovation, boats generally traveled from 12 to 14 knots, while starting in the 1980s many traveled up to 25 knotsperhour.Increasedspeedshortensjourneytimesforferrypassengers. Inresponsetothesetrends,theKochAdministrationissuedapolicyframeworkfor waterborne transportation in 1986. The framework stated that the City would support ferries as an alternate service mode by providing capital, but not as an operatingsubsidy.TheCitywouldalsomakepiersavailableforusetoprivateferry operators. This framework allowed operators to charge premium rates for its services.Thispolicyframeworkislargelyintactatpresent. Despite a lack of support for daily operations, ferry ridership (not including the Staten Island ferry) grew modestly every year between 1986, when ridership was 4,000perdayuntilJuly2001,whenridershipincreasedto37,000perday.9 FerryboatsservedacriticalroleintheaftermathofSeptember11th,whenthePATH TerminalattheWorldTradeCenterwasdestroyed.Notonlywereferriestheonly means to points west of Manhattan in the direct aftermath of the attacks, they becameessentialtomaintainingaccesstoLowerManhattaninthemonthsafterthe attacks. GeographyandExistingTransportationInfrastructure New York is often referred to as a city of bridges and tunnels. While the vast majorityofthesebridgesandtunnelsconnectManhattantotheBronx,Queensand Brooklyn, all but seven connect to New Jersey. Of the four rail tunnels that link to Manhattan, three are used for PATH and NJ Transit, and one is through Amtrak.
8

GaryPierrePierre,TravelingbyFerry,OnceCommoninNewYorkHarbor,MaybeAgain,TheNewYorkTimes,9/22/96is thisavailableonline?

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

Cars and buses access Manhattan from the Lincoln Tunnel, the Holland Tunnel or theGeorgeWashingtonBridge.10Sources? Incontrast,theNewYorkCityTransitAuthorityaloneoperates17tunnelslinking Manhattan to the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan across the East River.11 Nine bridgesandtunnelsprovideautoaccesstoManhattanfrompointsnorth,southand east.12AndtwotunnelsconnectcommuterrailservicefromWestchesterandLong IslandviatheMetroNorthRailroadandtheLongIslandRailroad. GiventherelativelackoftransHudsoncommuteoptionsrelativetotheEastRiver, the development of private ferries as a means of transportation from New Jersey beginstomakesense.

Source:PortAuthorityofNewYorkandNewJersey:http://www.panynj.gov/bridgestunnels/ Source:MTASubwayMap:http://mta.info/nyct/maps/submap.htm 12 Source:NY.com,http://www.ny.com/transportation/crossings/


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II.FERRYSERVICEINNEWJERSEYANDSTATENISLAND TransportationInfrastructure New Jersey Transit operates commuter rail service to Penn Station and Hoboken. From the site of the Hudson County ferries (Edgewater, Port Imperial, Lincoln Harbor), the nearest rail mass transit to Midtown is located at Secaucus Junction, twotosevenmilesaway(inthewrongdirection).13RailservicetoMidtownisalso available via PATH at Hoboken, which is 1.5 to nine miles away.14 A number of busesprovideserviceintheeasternHudsonCountytoMidtown.15 From the South Hoboken ferry terminal, the Port Authority TransHudson (PATH) providesservicetoManhattanalongthreeroutes.ThefirstrunsfromHobokento Christopher Street at Hudson Street and then along 6th Avenue between 9th Street and33rdStreetinManhattan.TworoutesrunfromHobokenorJerseyCitydirectly totheWorldTradeCenter.16FerryservicefromHobokenSouthisprovidedtothe WorldFinancialCenterandPier11,butnottoMidtown. New Jersey Transits North Jersey Coast Line connects residents of Monmouth CountytoNewYorkPennStationviaatransferatHoboken.FromHoboken,those continuingtoLowerManhattancantakethePATHtotheWorldTradeCenter.17

Source:GoogleEarth Ibid. 15 Source:NJTransit,Bus,http://www.njtransit.com/sf/sf_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=BusTo 16 Source:TheNextTrainwebsite,http://thenexttrain.com/static/PATH_system_map.png 17 MapfoundthroughGoogleSearch,http://newyorkcity2005.web.infoseek.co.jp/information/maps/images/maps/path map.jpg,Accessed5/01/2010


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UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

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Figure1:NewYorkCommuterFerries;Source:PortAuthorityofNewYork/NewJersey

NewJerseyandNewYorkFerries18 In 2009, twentytwo privately operated ferry routes served 28,445 passengers in theNewYork/NewJerseyregiononanaverageweekday. Sixteen of these routes, carrying an average of 27,253 passengers, served New Jersey residents traveling to Manhattan. Two routes operated as feederferry services to MetroNorth Hudson River stations from towns on the western side of theHudson. InNewYorkCity,privateferryserviceoperatedbetweentheRockawaysinQueens and Lower Manhattan. In Westchester and Orange Counties, service operated betweenYonkers/HaverstrawandLowerManhattan. OfthesixteenNewJerseyferryroutes,thirteenoriginatedinHudsonCounty(across fromManhattan)andthreeoriginatedinMonmouthCounty.Mostoftheseroutes ranpointtopointservice. Ten of the thirteen Hudson County routes are destined for Lower Manhattan. Combined, they served 14,175 riders. Of these thirteen, seven stop at Pier 11, serving 10,112 residents. Three stop at the World Financial Center, serving 4,063 riders. SixoftheNewJerseyferriesterminateatPier79(West39thStreet),carrying10,450 passengersonanaverageweekday. DistanceandCost TenofthesixteenNewJerseyroutesarelessthanfourmileslong.Threeare4.5to7 mileslong,andthreearebetweennineteenandthree/fourthsofamiletotwenty twomileslong.Routeslessthanfourmileschargedpassengersbetween$5.50and $9.25 for a oneway fare; those between four and a half and seven miles charged $9.50to$12foraonewayfare;andthoseexceedingnineteenmilescharged$20 $23foraonewayfare.19 While the cost for trips increases with distance, the table on the next page shows that the costs per mile decreases as distance increases. The three routes from Monmouth County charge between $2023 oneway, but this comes to just $1.01 and $0.89 per mile.20 The routes with the shortest distance charge the most per mile.PaulusHooktotheWorldFinancialCenteris.8miles.Thefareis$5.50,or approximately$6.88permile.21
AlldatainthissectionderivedfromPortAuthorityofNY/NJ,20092010WeekdayRidershipStatistics,(excelspreadsheet) TicketPriceinformationobtainedfromNYWaterwaysWebsite,http://www.nywaterway.com/GetTickets.aspx,Accessed 5/2/10 20 Derivedbydividingthecostoftheticketbythenumberofmilesinthetriproute. 21 Equation:.8*X=5.50X=$6.88
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UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

Table1:DistanceforVariousNY/NJRoutesandCostPerMile; Source:GoogleEarth(Distance),NYWaterwaywebsite(ticketprice) www.nywaterway.com/;Accessed5/1/10

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mile and Liberty Harbor to the World Financial Center is 1.5 miles and charges $3.33permiletraveled.22 One notable feature of the New Jersey private ferries is the consistency of its ridership base, even through the winter months. As discussed earlier, this is primarilybecausepeoplelivingtheredonothaveeasyaccesstorail.But,another reason may be that the vast majority of these terminals offer enclosed passenger waitingfacilitiesmanyofthemwithamenities.ThirteenoftheNewJerseyferry terminals possess indoor waiting facilities, while one has a partially enclosed facility,andthreedonothaveanyenclosedfacilities.23 As the table below demonstrates, thirteen of the fifteen New Jersey ferry routes experienced a 59% change in ridership over the course of 2009. Service was highestinthesummerandlowestinthewinter.Twoferryroutesexperienced13 16% ridership swings over the course of a year. One of these routes began

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Table2:WeatherProtectedFacilitiesandSTDofRidership; Source:SeeListofFiguresandTables

Ibid. Thepresenceofoutdoorfacilitieswasdeterminedusingdifferentmethods.Moststationshadpicturesoftheterminal facilitiesontheNYWaterwayswebsite(http://www.nywaterway.com/FerryTerminals.aspx)Accessed5/2/10.For HighlandsandAtlanticHighlands,informationwasobtainedbycallingtheoperatoratNYWaterways.

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

operationsfromaterminalwithindoordockfacilities,andonedidnot. Headways ThefifteenNewJerseyferriesoperateatarangeofheadways.Someroutesoperate at twelveminute headways, and some offer only one or two trips during the morningrush.24 Monmouth Thesethreeferries,whichtravelnineteentotwentytwomiles,operatethefewest trips during the AM rush. As of 20092010, Sea Streak service from the Atlantic Highlands operates April through the fall, with three trips in the morning rush.25 NewYorkWaterwaysservicefromBelfordtoPier11operatesonceduringtheAM peak.26 Evenwithinfrequentsailings,theBelfordserviceaveraged1644passengersperday andtheSeaStreakroutesaveraged1647and963passengersperday.27 ItshouldalsobenotedthatferryservicetothispartofMonmouthCountyhasbeen onagain/offagain for a number of years.28 Given the unreliability of the service and lowlevel of service over the years, the large ridership on these routes seems counterintuitive. Hudson Headway intervals for Hudson County ferries are much shorter than those from Monmouth. Most offer service to Manhattan at 1020 minute intervals.29 This is possible because journey times are shorter. The same boat can make multiple journeysacrosstheriverinonehour. Even when considering this, it appears that most of the New Jersey routes are served by at most two vessels. This short distance allows for short headway intervalsatanegligiblecosttotheoperator.Ofcourse,thisalsoimpactsthecapital costsofrunningtheseferries.Fewerboatsareneededtoprovidefrequentservice comparedtolongerroutes. Alsoofinterestistherelationshipbetweenshortheadwayintervalsandridership. While one would expect increased headways to impact ridership, this does not
DatacompiledfromNYWaterwayswebsite(http://www.nywaterway.com/Home.aspx)Accessed5/2/10 SeaStreaksite(http://www.seastreak.com/)Accessed5/2/10 26 NYWaterwayssite(http://www.nywaterway.com/Home.aspx)Accessed5/2/10 27 PortAuthorityofNY/NJ,20092010WeekdayRidershipStatistics 28 Forexample,servicefromSouthAmboy,anearbytown,operatedfrom20012006(CambridgeSystematics,SouthAmboy FerryResearchStudyMarch2007)(11) 29 DatacompiledfromNYWaterwayssite(http://www.nywaterway.com/Home.aspx)Accessed5/2/10
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appeartohavetheeffectthathasbeenattributedtothefailuresoftheservicesto theRockawaysandYonkers. A number of ferry routes with short headway intervals times have low average ridership compared to the Monmouth County ferries. Paulus Hook to West 39th Streets operates at 30 minutes headways in the morning rush but has an average dailyridershipof418.PortLibertetoPier11operatesat40minuteheadways(6 tripsintheAMrush),andaverages501passengersonadailybasis.Incomparison, theMonmouthCountyferriesoffer13tripsintheAMrushandaverage1418riders perday.30Thissuggeststhat,whileafactorinridership,frequentheadwaydoesnot determine a ferry routes success. In the case of Monmouth County, the lack of convenienttransportationoptionstoLowerManhattanmeansthatalargepercent of those working in Lower Manhattan will schedule their day around making the one ferry trip. Thus, we can see that populations might be more willing to take inflexibletransitoptionsifitistheonlyoptionavailable.

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Source:PANY/NJRidershipStatisticsandNYWaterwaysScheduleInformation

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

RidershipProfiles

Figure2:WorkersCommutingbyFerryinSelectCensusBlockGroups; Source:LouisBergerGroup

WhilethenumberofactualferryridersbetweenNewJerseyandManhattanappears smallbyNewYorkstandards,astudybytheLouisBergerGroupindicatesthatferry commutinghascometodominatetheManhattanboundcommutermarketinmany partsofHudsonandBergenCounties. 21

As we can see in Figure 2, in certain New Jersey census tracks, over 58% of all Manhattanboundcommuterstaketheferrytowork.Qualifythisstatisticbysaying itsasmallpopulation.InMonmouthCounty,43%ofthispopulationtakestheferry towork.31Thesepeoplepay$510permonth;triptimesare82minutes.32 IntheselectedHudson/BergenCounties,30%oftheManhattanboundmarkettakes ferriestowork,paying$134permonth.Doortodoorjourneytimesarethirtyeight minutes.33 Of course, the overall number of people taking the ferry compared to the working populationofMonmouthCountyisstillsmall.AccordingtotheUSCensus,236,746 wereemployedinMonmouthCountyin2007.3458%ofthepeoplelivinginthese census tracts commuting to Manhattan take the ferry, but according to Port Authorityridershipestimates,thetotalcombinedridershipfromMonmouthCounty Routesis2,610.35Evengiventheapplestoorangesnatureofthesestatistics,wecan seethatthenumberofworkerscommutingbyferriesisarelativelysmallpercentof theoverallpopulation. A survey of ferry riders on a now cancelled ferry service from Monmouth County showedthatferryridersinMonmoutharewealthierthanthosecommutingbyNew Jersey Transit. Ferry passengers were three times more likely to earn over $200,000 annually than those riding NJ Transit.36 While 37% the NJ Transit customersviewedtheMonmouthferryasavalidalternativefortheircommute,they chosetotakethelessexpensivetransitoption.37 Funding The New York/New Jersey system is practically the only ferry service in North America that is both privately owned and operated. With the exception of capital fundingforcityowneddocksandacoupleofpilotroutes,ferryoperatorsreceiveno financial support from taxpayers. While privately owned/operated systems were prevalentintheUSpriorto1950,theproliferationofUSspendingonhighwaysand bridges in the period since World War II decimated the market for private ferry operations.38
TheLouisBergerGroup,RidershipandRevenueAnalysisforaProposedFerryServicetoLowerManhattan,Submittedto theLowerManhattanDevelopmentCorporation(June2006)8 32 Incontrast,ThosetakingthetrainfromMonmouthCountyrepresent31%ofthetotalpopulation.Theypay$260permonth and experience 82 minute total trip times (including waiting, walking, etc.) 14% of Manhattanbound commuters in Monmouthdrivetowork.Theypayupto$874andexperience71minutetraveltimes.Whatisthesourceofthisinformation? 33 PATHservicecaptures52%ofthemarket,costsanaverageof$93/month,andoffers33minutetraveltimes.Autotravel captures7%ofthemarket,costsanaverageof$592,andoffers44minutetraveltimes. 34 Source:USCensus,Quickfactswebsite(http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/34/34025.html) 35 Source:PANY/NJRidershipStatistics 36 CambridgeSystematics,SouthAmboyFerryResearchStudy,PreparedfortheNewJerseyTransitCorporation,(March 2007)Chapter3,45 37 Ibid. 38 PortAuthorityofNY/NJ,InteragencyStudyofRegionalPrivatePassengerFerryServicesintheNewYorkMetropolitan Area,11
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UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

While New York hasnt established funding mechanisms to support ferries, it has invested over $350 Million on capital improvements for docking facilities in HobokenandEdgewaterinNewJersey,theWorldFinancialCenter,atlocationson theEastRiver,Yonkers,andonStatenIslandsincethe1980s.39 Takeaways The large network of ferry service between New Jersey serves two distinct New Jerseymarkets.TheHudson/BergenCountyferriessupportedthedevelopmentof the New Jersey side of the Hudson River by providing a quick, premium commute option to Manhattan. While convenient access to rail exists, such as the Hoboken South terminal, the ferry routes serve locations not served by rail. This suggests thatthedemandforferryserviceislesscompellinginlocationswhererailiseasily accessible. Incontrast,theMonmouthCountyferriesdevelopedtoserveanexistingpopulation that is geographically closer to Manhattan by sea compared to land or rail. Even with fewer runs and high ticket prices, there is a strong demand and ridership is high. TheHudson/Bergenferriesdemonstratetheadvantagesofferriesthattravelshort distances. First, they allow for frequent headways. Furthermore, short distances translateintolessfuelexpendedperpassenger.Aswewillsee,fuelcostscanmake up3040%ofaferriesexpensessominimizingthisexpenseiskeytodeveloping anaffordablesystem.

39

JeffreyZupan,PaperonNYRegionalFerryService,RegionalPlanAssociation(November2006.)

23

StatenIslandFerry The Staten Island Ferry is a passenger ferry service operating between Whitehall StreetinLowerManhattanandSt.GeorgesinStatenIsland.Theferryisrunbythe New York City Department of Transportation. It serves 65,000 people on an averageweekday.40 Since 1997, the ferry has operated without a fare. Prior to 1997, the fare was 50 centsoneway.NewYorkCityDepartmentofTransportationoperates2municipal lotsattheferryterminalandcharges$5.50toparkperday,$5withamunimeter parkingcardor$300forayear.41 Vesselsmaketripstwentyfourhoursaday.Headwayintervalsarefifteenminutes during the AM and PM peak periods, thirty minutes during nonpeak periods, and sixtyminutesbetween1AMand5AM.Ittakestwentyfiveminutestotravelthe5.2 milesbetweenSt.GeorgeandWhitehallStreet. There are eight ferry boats. Two vessels carry 6,000 people, three carry 4,400 people,onecarries3,500peopleandtwocarry1,280people. NewferryterminalsatSt.GeorgesandWhitehallStreetwereopenedin2005.The MTA spent $530 Millionto improveoperationstothe South Ferry1Train Station, whichisadjacenttotheferry.Thisprojectwascompletedin2009.42 Similarly to the ferries crossing the Puget Sound in Washington State today, the Staten Island ferry exists because a bridge was never built to connect it to the centralbusinessdistrictinManhattan.Althoughalongdistancefromeachother,a bridgeconnectingtothetwolandmasseswouldbeonlyslightlylongerthanthe4.5 mileSanFranciscoBayBridge. The scale of the Staten Island ferrys operations is much larger than any new potentialrouteintheNewYorkregion.Theferrywillbeabletooperateatamuch lowercostperpersonsimplybecauseofthesheervolumeofpassengersserved.As a result, the Staten Island ferry does not provide relevant insight to draw upon when identifying reasons for expanded ferry services failure or how to expand on theexistingnetworkofferries.

Source:Wikipedia Ibid. 42 Ibid.


40 41

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

III. ARGUMENTS TO EXPANDFERRYSERVICE INNEWYORK The regions long average commute times, existing and projected transit capacity and the citys longterm growth aspirations all make a strongcaseforexpanding ferry service in the New Yorkregion. LongCommuteTimes New York City alone is home to the top four counties with the longest commutes in the nation. Residents of Richmond, Kings, Queens and the Bronx Counties experience average commute time of 44.1, 42.5, 41, and 40 minutes, respectively. Although residents of Manhattan enjoy faster commute timesthanthesecounties, Figure3:SubwayLinePerformancebySubwayLine.Source:TheNew YorkTimes(June26,2007) their commutes are still the33rdlongestintheUS.43TheCityssuburbsalsoperformpoorlyonthismeasure: Nassau and Westchester have the 8th and 9th longest commuting times in the US, MonmouthinNewJerseyhasthe11th,Suffolkthe12th,HudsonCounty,NewJersey andOrangearetiedforthethe18th,andOrangeCountyisthe22nd.44 IfNewYorkwishestoretainandgrowitspopulation,itwillneedtoreduceaverage commutetimestowork.Whilethiswilllargelybedonethroughrailcapitalprojects andpossiblytransportationdemandstrategies,increasedferryservicecouldservea roleinreducingtraveltimesforsomecommuters. ExistingTransitatCapacity
43 44

AmericanCommunitySurvey,JourneytoWork,CountyLevel(2000) Ibid.

25

Even with 23 subway lines, 17 subway crossings between the outer boroughs and Manhattan, 2 commuters rail lines and numerous bus routes serving its residents, many parts of the MTAs system is currently at capacity and ridership is only expected to grow in the nexttwodecades. A 2007 analysis by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority found that the vast majority of existing subwayservicewasat80 100% capacity, and that four(3,4,5,E)trainswere already operating at peak capacity.45 Without Figure4:DemandforTravelintoManhattan'sCBD; increased service Source:NewYorkCityPlaNYC2030 capacity, the City will not beabletotransportthemillionextrapeopleitexpectstoliveinthecityby2030. Whilemostofthesepeoplewilllikelybetransportedbyrailorbus,itisunclearthat even planned network expansions will be sufficient to meet future demands. For example, the MTAs Environmental Impact Statement for the Second Avenue Subwayshows thatthefirstsegmentofthesubway(96thto63rdStreet)willnotsignificantlyreduce thecapacityproblemsontheLexingtonAvenueline.46 TheimpactsofaddingonemillionnewpeopletotheCitywillfurtherincreasethe strainsonourtransportationsystem.TheBloombergAdministrationhasestimated that750,000newpeoplewillcommutetotheManhattanCentralBusinessDistrict by 2030.47 The picture to the right shows where these new commuters will be traveling from. Interestingly, while a significant portion of new commuters are expected to commute from the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn, PlanNYCs major
WilliamNeuman,SomeSubwaysFoundPackedPastCapacity,TheNewYorkTimes,(June26,2007)Accessed4/5/10 MTA,SecondAvenueSubwayEnvironmentalImpactStatement,Chapter5B,(May,2004)20;Thefullcapacitybenefitsofthe newsubwaylinewillnotbeexperienceduntilcompletionoftheentireSecondAvenuesubwayfrom125thStreettoHanover Sqaure.Atthispoint,theSouthbound4,5trainswilloperateat80%capacitybelow86thStreetand94%capacitybelowGrand CentralTerminal. 47 PlaNYC:AGreener,GreaterNewYork,IntroductionNewYorkCity(3)
45 46

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

solution to these constraints is adding Bus Rapid Transit routes and increasing opportunities to commute via NYC stations on the MetroNorth and Long Island Railroad. Asmentionedearlier,whilethevastmajoritynewtransitcapacitywillneedtocome frominvestmentsinnewrailandbus,thedemandfornewtransitcapacityinfuture yearsissogreatthataddingnewferryserviceintothemixshouldbeconsidered. NewWaterfrontHousingandCommercialOfficeCapacity MayorBloombergstimeinofficehasbeenmarkedbyanumberofrezoningchanges manyofwhichareonornearthewaterfront. As discussed earlier inthis Chapter,thechanging USeconomy hasled todramatic changesinlanduseatthewaterfront.Asaresult,anumberoftherezoningshave occurred. These include: Williamsburg/Greenpoint, Coney Island, the Hudson Yards, the Highline district, the Con Edison Waterside site, Saint George and the Stapleton Waterfront in Staten Island, Hunters Point, the South Bronx, and the GowanusCanal.48Inaddition,newhousinghasrecentlycomeonlineorisexpected tobebuiltonthewaterfrontatRiversideSouthandQueensWest. All together, the rezoning changes under Mayor Bloomberg has allowed for 98 Million Square Feet of new residential capacity as of 2007, of which 5.8 Billion squarefeethasbeendevelopedsince2003.49 Developing ferry services that link new waterfront developments to jobs in Manhattancouldbeaneffectivelongtermstrategytoattractandretainresidentsby providingthemwithpremiumtransportationoptions.Suchaplancouldbejustified asaneconomicinvestmentstrategytoretainhighincome,highlyskilledworkersby providingthemwithanurbanalternativetotheconveniencesofthesuburbs.The ideaofemployingawaterfrontdevelopmentstrategytobuildingnewferryservices willbediscussedingreaterdetaillaterinthisreport.

NYCDepartmentofCityPlanning,Celebrating100Rezonings,http://nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/rezonings/index.shtml Accessed5/5/10 49 NYUTheFurmanCenter,HowHaveRecentRezoningsAffectedNewYorkCitysAbilitytoGrow?NewYorkUniveristy (March2010)8


48

27

IV.KEYISSUESIMPACTINGREGIONALFERRYEXPANSION FareboxRecovery Plannersrefertoasystemsfareboxrecoveryratioasthepercentofaridescost captured by the fare charged to the commuter. The rate of farebox recovery for ferrysystemsinothercitieswillbediscussedinsubsequentchapters. The New York City farebox recovery ratio is the highest in the United States. Transportation advocates often refer to it as the fare burden. New York City subwaysandbusesrevenuesaccountfor55%ofNewYorkCityTransitsoperating expenses.50ThisrateismuchhigherthanmostUScities. Thetop50citiesintheUShaveanaveragefareburdenof37%,andmanycitieswith large transit dependent populations have much lower fare burdens. For example, Chicagos fare burden is 43%, Bostons is 29%, NJ Transit is 37% and Washington DCis40%.51 AstheNewJerseyferrysystemsare100%private,farescover100%ofthecostof operation. They are public only in the sense that they use publicly owned and maintained docking facilities, which have sometimes been enhanced with funding frompublicentities. PublicTransitFinancingIssues The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has experienced ongoing financial difficultyinrecentyears.Currentestimatesprojecta$751Millionoperatingdeficit forthecurrentbudgetyearandcontinueddeficitsinfutureoperatingbudgets.52In addition,theMTAs20102014CapitalBudgetis$10Billionofitsprojectedneed.53 Because of the significant needs on New Yorks existing transportation infrastructure, new ferry services are seen by many as another piece, and a potentially less deserving piece, of the pie of transportation capital projects. Included in this list is the Second Avenue Subway, East Side Access to Midtown Manhattan,andtheongoingreplacementmaintenanceandreplacementofexisting infrastructure.54
NYPIRGStraphangersCampaign,MTAHearings:PointsYouCanMake,NewYork (http://www.straphangers.org/farehike08/pointstomake.html) 51 Source:NationalTransitDatabase,FederalTransitAdministration,Accessed5/5/10 52 ChristopherJones,TestimonyofChristopherJonesbeforetheMetropolitanTransportationAuthorityHearingonProposed ServiceChanges,StudentFares,andCrossingCharges,RegionalPlanAssociation(March2010) 53 Ibid. 54 Source:InterviewwithJeffZupan,March2,2010;InterviewwithBuzzPaaswell,March19,2010
50

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

*** ItsimportanttonotethatNewYorkCityhasarelativelythrivingsystemofferries serving the Central Business Districts of Midtown and Lower Manhattan. The combinedridershipofNewJerseysprivateferrieswithStatenIslandFerryisover 85,000passengersperday,farexceedinginsheernumbersthepassengersserved perdayinanyothercity. OtherthantheStatenIslandservice,thespecificnatureofNewYorksferrynetwork ismorelimitedintermsofthemarketsitserves.NewJerseysferriesservewealthy outersuburbsandnewwaterfrontdevelopment.TheStatenIslandferryservesas the only direct link between Staten Island and Manhattan. Given the relative abundance of subway and highway connections to Manhattan from the other four boroughs, one can see how ferries would have a hard time competing for limited publicresources.

29

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

CHAPTER2:FERRYSYSTEMSINOTHERUSCITIES

Whatquicklybecomesapparentwhenresearchingthesystemsofothercitiesisthat the scale of a ferry system as proposed by Speaker Quinn in 2007 has not been achievedanywhereintheUS.Whileanumberofothercitieshavedevelopedferry routesforcommuters,noonesystemissufficientlycomprehensivesoastoprovide amodelforhowacitysuchasNewYorkshouldproceedwithdevelopinganetwork ofurbancommuterferries. SanFranciscoofferstheclosestexampleofacitythathasdevelopedaregionalferry system akin to the vision articulated by Speaker Quinn. While this California City provides a number of lessons about creating political momentum for, and developing a regional ferry system, it has begun operations just recently and any judgmentsaboutitssuccessesorfailuresareprematureatthistime. AprimarytakeawayisthatNewYorkdoesnothavesimilarconditionstothethree cities analyzed in this section of the paper. Unlike San Francisco and Seattle, New Yorkgenerallyhasexcellenttransportationoptionstotransportcommuterstothe central business district (CBD) across a body of water. Given Bostons limited network and the lack of publicly available information on its origins, this network doesnotprovidemuchusefulinformationonwhichtobaseaNewYorkCitysystem. Toillustrate,Seattledevelopedferrysystemsinsteadofconstructingbridgesacross the Puget Sound while New York has several bridges and tunnels connecting Manhattantosurroundingresidentialneighborhoods.

31

SANFRANCISCO ExistingTransportationNetwork SanFranciscoislocatedona7.5milewidepeninsulabetweentheSanFranciscoBay and the Pacific Ocean. It is connected to Oakland in Alameda County by the San FranciscoBayBridge,afourandahalfmilespanofbridgesandtunnels.TheGolden GateBridgeconnectsSanFranciscotoMarinCountytoitsnorth.55 Mass transit service is available through the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). Five routesconnectSanFranciscoacrosstheBaytoAlamedaandContraCostaCounty.56 BARTsfareboxrecoveryrateis53%.57

Figure5:BARTSystemMap;Source:BayAreaRapidTransit;SourceBART http://www.bart.gov/

Source:Wikipedia,Accessed5/5/10 Ibid. 57 Source:NationalTransitDatabase,FederalTransitAdministration,Accessed5/5/10


55 56

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

The San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI) operates 80 routes within San Francisco proper. A variety of vehicles serve MUNI, including light rail, buses and theiconicstreetcars.58 TheBayAreaisthe6thlargestmetropolitanregionintheUnitedStates,withatotal populationof7.3Million.59Giventheareaslargepopulationandthefewbridgeor tunnelconnectionstotheCityitself,thecaseforarobustferrysystemiscompelling. AlamedaCounty60 Commuter ferry service from Alameda County to San Francisco began in the late 1960s. The City of Tiburon contracted the Blue and Gold Fleet to operate unsubsidizedservicetoSanFrancisco. Inthe1980s,theCityofAlamedacontractedservicetooperatetwoferryroutesto San Francisco following the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. Service continued aftertheearthquakecleanup.In1992,AlamedacontractedBlueandGoldtotake overtheservice.BlueandGoldwouldoperateservicewith2vesselspurchasedby Alameda. AsecondAlamedaroutebeganasmitigationforaharborresidentialdevelopmentin 1992.TheCitypurchasedavesselforitsoperator,HarborBayMaritime.Whilethe developerprovidedserviceforsixyears,theCitytookresponsibilityfortheservice after1998. PrivateferryservicebetweentheCityofVallejoandSanFranciscobeganin1986by theRedandWhiteFleet.Afteroneyear,theoperatortriedtocanceloperationsdue to poor finances. Vallejo took over the service, and purchased a highspeed catamaran in 1994. While the circumstances of the takeover are unknown, one could speculate that the significant ridership of the route resulted in political pressurefortheCitytocontinueservice.Theservicecontractwaslaterawardedto

Table3:CharacteristicsforSelectedSanFranciscoFerryRoutes; Source:VariousWebsites(SeeAppendix)

58 59

Source:SFMUNIsite(http://www.sfmta.com/cms/home/sfmta.php)Accessed5/2/10 Source:Wikipedia,Accessed5/2/10

33

theBlueandGoldFleet.Vallejohassincepurchasedthreemorevesselsfortheuse oftheBlueandGoldfleet. MarinCounty61 TheGoldenGateBridgeandHighwayDistrictwasestablishedasaspecialdistrictin 1921 to operate and maintain the Golden Gate Bridge and operate bus service between Marin, Sonoma and San Francisco Counties. In the 1970s, the district begantwoferryservicesbetweenSausalitoandLarkspurtoSanFrancisco.Unlike thecontractmodelsofAlamedaCounty,serviceisprovideddirectlybytheGolden GateBridgeandHighwayDistrict. Operations62 Ferry service throughout the Bay area operates at headway intervals of 30 to 110 minutes.63 Even with the relatively long headway intervals and a handful of scheduled AM peak trips to the San Francisco Ferry building, ridership remains relativelyhigh. Trip routes are generally short, although not quite as short as many of the NJ to Manhattanroutes.Alameda/OaklandtoSanFranciscoistheshortest,atfivemiles. ThetriptoVallejo,attwentyfournauticalmiles,isthelongestroute.Journeytimes toSanFranciscoarebetweentwentytothirtyminutes,and65minutesfromVallejo. The distance in nautical miles to San Francisco from Alameda Harbor is 8 miles, from Berkeley is 7 miles, Larkspur is 12.6 miles and Sausalito is 7 miles. Planned servicetoSouthSanFranciscowillbe12miles. Most one way tickets cost between six and eight dollars. For Vallejo, a oneway ticketcosts$13.Packsof40ticketsrangefrom$170185fortheAlamedaferries,to $280 for Tiburon and $290 for Vallejo. The Golden Gate ferries (Sausalito, Larkspur)significantlydiscountratesforthosewhosignupforamonthlydiscount card(Translink).Passengerswiththesecardspay$4.20$4.90foraonewayticket, whichresultsina40ticketcostof$168190. Thefleetiscomposedofhighspeedcatamarans,whichcarry150to400passengers and monohulls. These vessels carry 700 passengers. They run on biodiesel low sulfurfuelandtravelat25knotsperhour.
SummarizedfromPANY/NJInteragencyStudyofRegionalPrivateFerryServicesintheNewYorkMetropolitanArea Study,1315 61 Ibid 62 Scheduleandfareinformationcompiledfromvariouswebsites.AlamedaandOaklandferrysfrom http://www.eastbayferry.com/;Larkspurfromhttp://www.goldengateferry.org/;SausalitoandTiburonfrom http://www.blueandgoldfleet.com/;Vallejofromhttp://www.baylinkferry.com/;Accessed4/15/10 63
60

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

Table4:RidershipCharacteristicsforPlannedWETAFerryRoutes; Sources:Various(SeeAppendix)

The table above shows the expected ridership, peak load and farebox recovery ratios for the five routes that will be operated by the Water Emergency TransportationAuthority.Thetableshowsthatalloftheferryroutesareexpected to operate at less than full capacity. They are also expected to operate at low farebox recovery ratios, which means that they will be heavily subsidized by the public. ManagingOrganization64 The establishment of the Water Emergency Transportation Authority and planned expansion of the existing routes provides useful guidance for cities looking to expandpassengerferryoperations. In1999,theCaliforniastatelegislaturecreatedtheWaterTransportationAuthority toplanaregionalferryserviceintheBayarea.Atthetimeofitscreation,allofthe ferry services described above were in place. WTA identified seven new ferry routes for implementation (of 22 routes studied) in its Final Implementation and OperationsPlan.Thisplanoutlinednewserviceroutes,andcapitalprojectssuchas newvesselsandterminals.Itwaspublishedin2003. The WTA then began collaborating with civic groups and policymakers to identify and implement a funding mechanism. California voters approved a Regional MeasureinMarch2004.ThisMeasureincreasedbridgetollsby$1andraisedthe salestaxinthecountiesservedbytheservice. TheWaterEmergencyTransportationAuthority(WETA)wascreatedin2008,after the California legislature dissolved the Water Transportation Authority. WETA is nowchargedwithconsolidatingcontrolofallexistingferryservices,budgetingand capitalinfrastructure.Inaddition,WETAwasauthorizedtocoordinatewaterborne emergencyservices.
64

PortAuthorityofNY/NJ,InteragencyStudyofRegionalPrivatePassengerFerryServicesintheNewYorkMetropolitan Area,

35

WETAsFinalImplementationandOperationsPlancalledfornewservicebetween South San Francisco and San Francisco in January 2010, and service between BerkeleyandMissionBaybeginningin2011. IdentifyingandTargetingaMarket Duringtheplanninganddevelopmentofnewferrylines,adetailedMarketingPlan wasdevelopedbyCambridgeSystematicsfortheWTA.Thisplanidentifiedtarget ferry markets, developed new routes based on these markets, and developed an implementationplan. The Marketing Plan has two components, the Mode Choice Model and the Final Marketing Plan. The Mode Choice Model is a complicated, sophisticatedlooking descriptionofhowthetargetmarketwasidentified.TheFinalMarketingPlanisa description of the market for ferry routes in the Bay area. It proposes tactics to markettheservicetothepublic. AccordingtotheFinalMarketingPlan,thetargetferryriderisaworkingtransbay commutercurrentlyusinganautomobiletocrosstheBayThemarketisequally womenandmenwithincomeshighenoughtoaffordfaresconsiderablyhigherthan bridge tolls and other transit options.65 The target market is not current BART commuters.66 Because commuters from Alameda County have access to an equally fast and inexpensive commute via BART but have chosen to drive to work, the Final MarketingPlanadvisesWTAtomessagethequalityoflifeandconvenienceoptions thatferryservicewillprovidepassengers. InMarinCounty,whereresidentsdonothaveaccesstoquickmasstransit,theFinal Marketing Plan recommends messaging the time savings aspects of ferry transportationcomparedtodriving. Communicationtotheidentifiedmarketwasplannedtolastoverthreeyears.Phase Ifocusedonbuildingdemandby:67 Creatingasystemidentify. Capitalizingonthestrengthofexistingferrysystems. Messagingtheuniquepersonalbenefitsofusingtheferrysystem. AdvocacyadvertisingpresentingtheWTAspositiononkeyissues.

PhaseIIbuiltdemandpriortothesystemslaunchusingthefollowingtactics:68
WaterTransitAuthority,WaterTransitAuthorityMarketingPlan,SubmittedbyJohnson|Ukropina,(May2005)1 Ibid9 67 Ibid9 68 Ibid10
65 66

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

Strong public relations program to introduce expanded ferry service to the media,opinionleaders,prospectivepatronsandthepublic. Atargetedpublicitycampaign. DemonstrationsandtoursforthemediaandVIPs. Grandopeningkickoffcelebrations. Placementofpaidmediasupport. Usesalespromotionandalliancestospikesaleswithspecifictargets. Terminalsignage,boatdecaling.

Afterthelaunchofanewline,WTAistofocusonmeetingandexceedingridership projections. Ridership projections will be measured against actual ridership, and promotionswillbeadjustedaccordingly.69 WTA has invested significant time and resources to identify and reach its target market.Thisinitselfseemsunusualandinnovativeforapublicagency.Ofcourse, theproofwillbeinthepudding.ThefirstnewservicetoSouthSanFranciscowill begin operations this year and will provide insights into the strengths and weaknessesoftheMarketingPlan. Takeaways A quick glance at San Franciscos transit system puts the development of regional ferry service in context. Unlike New York, San Francisco has few connections betweenitsCentralBusinessDistrictandtheresidentialneighborhoodswheremost oftheseworkersreside.Evenwithinfrequentsailings,iftheferryistheonlyoption forcommuterstogettoworkwithoutacar,therewillsignificantdemandforferries. The lack of transit connections between the CBD and residential neighborhoods allowstheservicetoattractsignificantridershipevenwithlongheadwayintervals. WhileNewYorkersareaccustomedtolowheadwayintervals,itispossibletobuild aridershipbaseatintervalsofupto60minutes.Thiswasalsoseenintheprivate NewJerseyservicefromMonmouthtoManhattan. It might be argued that the lack of transit options in San Francisco allow policy makersmorelatitudetofundtransitwithlowfareboxrecoveryratioscomparedto NewYorkCity.SanFranciscosferrysystemisexpectedtomainlydrawfromformer drivers and will also produce ancillary security benefits. This may explain policy makerswillingesstoacceptalowfareboxrecoveryratio.
69

Ibid11

37

In addition, unlike New York, San Francisco developed new routes after careful studyandresearch.AsshowninChapter4,SanFranciscosapproachwasamuch morecomprehensivethanrecentlyplannedroutesintheRockawaysandYonkers. While its yet not possible to know if this will result in more accurate ridership predictions,ithasbeencitedasanassetwhenWTAaskedvoterstoincreasebridge tollsin2004.70 ThecreationoftheWaterTransportationAuthorityin1999laidthegroundworkfor the extensive system planned for today. WTA analyzed market conditions, identified new routes, and developed a strategy to convince the public to support newbridgetolls.Aswewillsee,thisisincontrasttotheexperienceofNewYork, which chose which routes to implement first, and later commissioned studies to studypotentialridership. As we can see, the San Francisco Case Study offers a number of lessons as to why publiclyfundedferryservicehasnotsucceeded.

70

PortAuthorityofNY/NJ,InteragencyStudyofRegionalPrivatePassengerFerryServicesintheNewYorkMetropolitan Area,4

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

BOSTON Bostons ferry system is limited both in terms of the scope of its routes and the numberofpassengersitserves.Thisispeculiar,asBostonhasfullyintegratedthe ferrywithitsexistingtransitsystemandoffersfrequentsailingsatarelativelylow cost. An important lesson for New York is that even a perfect ferry system may have a hardtimecompetingwithrail.AllofthestationsinBostonarenearacommuterrail line.AndthecommuterrailtransportspassengerstodowntownBoston,whilethe ferry system transports passengers to Rowes Wharf, just outside the Central BusinessDistrictneighborhood. ExistingTransportationNetwork TheCityofBostonislocatedonapeninsulaontheAtlanticOcean.Itissurrounded bywatertoitseast(outerBostonHarbor),west(CharlesRiver)andnorth(inner BostonHarbor).Onlytothesouth,Thecityabutswithadjacentcities. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operates public transit services in Boston. Five fixed rail subway lines operate services that run to the center of the city in a spoke and hub distribution. Commuter rail systems provide regional service to theeasternthirdofthestate. Commuter rail stations are located within the same townsasallofthetownswith ferryservice.71 Extensive bus service is also provided throughout the city.72 The MBTAs farebox recovery ratio in 2008 was 35%.73 Figure6:BostonFerryRoutes; Source:MassachusettsBayTransportationAuthority Eleven automobile bridges
Source:MBTAWesite:http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/rail/;Accessed5/27/10 InformationonavailablepublictransitfromMassachusettsBayTransportationAuthority(http://www.mbta.com/) Accessed4/16/10 73 Source:NationalTransportationDatabaseWebsite,Accessed4/16/10
71 72

39

and tunnels connect Boston to neighboring cities to its north across the Charles RiverandtheBostonHarbor.74 Background Ferry service between Hingham and Quincy began in 1984 to mitigate traffic congestionwhileMassachusettsconstructedtheSoutheastExpressway(I93/MA3 /US1).75 Operations76 FerryserviceinBostonconnectsthesouthBostonsuburbsofQuincy,Hinghamand HulltoLongWharf,CentralWharforRowesWharfinBoston.TheBostonWharfs arealllocatedwithinashortdistanceofeachother.ServicetoLoganAirportwitha connecting shuttle bus is available for Quincy and Hull passengers on selected sailings In addition, inner harbor service connects the nearby Boston neighborhood of CharlestowntoCentralWharf. LongWarfandCentralWarfareadjacenttotheBlueLinesubway.RowesWharfisa shortwalktotheBlueline(1/5mile.) ServicefromHinghamoperatesatheadwayintervalsof1530minutes,withatotal of nine sailings during the AM peak. The 10mile trip takes 35 minutes to reach RowesWharf.Passengerspay$6foraonewayfare,and$198foramonthlypass. As is the case with all other monthly passes, fares are integrated with the MBTA system. This allows passengers to connect with a bus or train to reach their final destination. FerryvesselsdepartQuincysForeRiverShipyardatheadwayintervalsoftwentyto thirtyminutes.ThereareeightsailingsduringtheAMpeak.Thenauticaldistanceis 10.8miles.PassengersreachBostonin37minutes.Onewayfaresare$6perride; monthlymultiMBTAmodepassescost$198. Hulls ferry service operates at 5070 minute headway intervals, with four departures during the AM peak. At a distance of 8.5 miles, passengers arrive in Boston in twenty minutes. A oneway ticket costs $6 and a monthly MBTA combinedpasscosts$198. ServicefromtheCharlestownNavyYardoperatesat15minuteheadwayintervals duringtheAMPeak(twelvesailingsduringthistime.)Thetripdistanceisonemile.
Source:GoogleMaps ElizabethRoss,FedUpDriversSwitchtoFerriesTheChristianScienceMonitor,Boston,MA(11/20/1990) 76 Dataonheadways,faresandconnectionscompiledfromMBTABoatswebsite (http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/boats/)Accessed4/16/10
74 75

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

Passengers reach Boston in 10 minutes. Fares are the same as for the buses and subways.Onewayfaresare$1.70,andmonthlyfaresare$59. Theseroutesaccommodate4,211passengersonadailybasis.Ofthese,3,403take the Hingham, Quincy and Hull ferries and 808 take the Charlestown service.77 Fareboxrevenuescapture50%ofthecostofoperatingservice.78 OperatingOrganization TheMBTAcontractsprivatecompaniestoprovideferryservices.Accordingtothe PortAuthoritiesInteragencyStudyonFerryService,thisoperatingscenarioresults in contractors either charging a large rate upfront for a short period of time or requiring a long contract to cover the costs of acquiring the vessel. The study suggeststhatthismodelcangivethecontractorapotentiallyundesirableamountof leverage. AwayaroundthiswouldbetohavetheCitypurchaseavesselandmakeitavailable forusebythecontractor.ThisisthemodelfortheQuincytoBostonroute.While thisisasolution,itrequiresthesupervisingagencytohavestaffexpertisetomake sure the right vessel is chosen and to supervise the procurement/ construction process. Takeaways Bostonsferryservice,whilelimitedinscope,adherestoexcellentplanningpolicy. FaresarelinkedtotheMBTAsexistingbusandsubwayservice,ferrylandingsare atorclosetoamajorsubwayline,andheadwayintervalsarereasonablyshort. Evenwiththeseconditions,ridershipontheseroutesaccountsforjust.4%ofMBTA ridershipsystemwide.Itissurprisingthatevenwiththehighdegreeofplanning and integrative policy measures, riders havent flooded the system. This may be becauseBostonsbusinessdistrictiscenteredaroundSouthStationandDowntown Crossing, which are more easily accessed by T Commuter Rail Service. Also, the QuincylandingisclosetoastopontheMBTAsRedLinesubway. Given all this, and considering the ferrys 50% ($6) rate of subsidy, its hard to identifythepolicyrationalbehindthisservice.

77 78

MassachusettsBayTransportationAuthority,MBTAFY2009AnnualBudgetBook,Section7,91. PANY/NJInteragencyStudyofRegionalPrivateFerryServicesintheNewYorkMetropolitanAreaStudy,20

41

SEATTLE / WASHINGTON STATEFERRIES The Washington State Ferry system serves communities surroundingthePugetSound. WhiletheWashingtonStateferry system is expansive, only two routes directly serve commuters fromSeattlessuburbstothecity proper CBD?. Most of its routes operate as an extension of the State highway system, rather than a transit alternative to on road vehicles. Given the difference to the system envisioned for New York City, it ishardtodrawtoomanylessons forNewYork. Background and Existing TransportationNetwork Ferry service to Seattle is operated by the Washington State Department of Transportation. This service comprises two of eleven ferry Figure7:WashingtonStateFerriesMap; services crossing the Puget Source:WashingtonStateDepartmentofTransportation Sound.79 The only bridge connecting Washington to the westernbanksofthePugetSoundisovertwentymilessouthofSeattlebyTacoma. Thus, the ferry serves as the nearest link across the Sound for many residents of WashingtonStateandactsasthebridgebetweenhighwaysatoppositeendsofthe Sound.Asaresult,theWashingtonDOTsfleetisthelargestofallautomobileferry systemsintheUnitedStatesandthethirdlargestintheworld. Public transit in Seattle is provided by the Kings County Metro Transit and Sound Transit. Kings County Metro, a division of the Kings County Department of Transportation, operates 223 bus routes and serves 118 million passengers annually.80SoundTransitoperatesasapublicauthorityandprovidesexpressbus, lightrailandcommuterrailservicetoSeattle.81
WashingtonStateFerriessite(http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/schedule/)Accessed4/17/10 KingsCountyMetrosite(http://metro.kingcounty.gov/)Accessed4/17/10 81 SoundTransitsite(http://www.soundtransit.org/)Accessed4/17/10
79 80

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

Operations82 TheWashingtonStateDepartmentofTransportationoperatestwoauto/commuter ferriestoPier52inSeattle.TheseservicesruntoBainbridgeIslandandBremerton on the western banks of the Puget Sound across from Seattle.83 The Waterfront streetcarlineconnectspassengerstoareasfurtherinland.84 FromBainbridgeIsland,ferriesmakefourtripsduringtheAMpeak,makingatrip every 4550 minutes. A oneway ticket costs $6.90, and a monthly pass costs $88.35. Ten ticket books are available for $55.20. The total population of BainbridgeIslandis20,000peopleandtheaveragehouseholdincomeis$108,000 annually. The route between Bainbridge and Seattle is 8.7 miles. Run times between these citiesaverage35minutes. FerriesfromBremertonmakethreetripsduringtheAMpeak,departingatheadway intervalsof60to85minutes.Onewaypassessellfor$6.90.Monthlypassescost $88.35 and 10 ride passes are $55.20. 37,000 people live in Bremerton and the averagehouseholdincomethereis$36,000. The ferry route between Bremerton and Seattle is approximately 16 miles. Run timesbetweenthetwocitiestake60minutes. 80%ofrevenuesforferryoperationsarederivedfromfares.85 The American Community Surveys 20062008 indicates that 6,195 of 111,405 workersintheBremertonSilverdaleMetropolitanStatisticalArea(MSA)commuted to work by ferry. This represents 5.5% of the total working population (this numberdoesnotincludeworkersintheSeattleMSA).Ofthese,2,764,or27%ofthe working population of Bainbridge commuted to work by ferry and 754 people, or 5%oftheworkingpopulationofBremerton,commutedbyferry.86 TheaverageincomefortheBremertonSilverdaleMSAis$59,136.87 In2008,65,000passengerstookWashingtonStateferriesonanaverageweekday. Ofthese,19,500,or30%ofitsridership,tooktheBainbridgeferry.7,800,or12%of totalWSFridership,tooktheBremertonferry.88
FareandHeadwayinformationobtainedfromWashingtonStateFerriessite(http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/schedule/) Accessed4/17/10 83 WashingtonStateFerriessite(http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/schedule/)Accessed4/17/10 84 KingsCountryMetro(http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/wfsc/waterfront_streetcar.html)Accessed4/17/10 85 Source:NationalTransportationDatabase,Accessed4/17/10 86 Datacompiledthroughthe3Year,20062008AmericanCommunitySurveyontheUSCensusBureauswebsite: (http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DatasetMainPageServlet?_program=ACS&_submenuId=&_lang=en&_ts=) 87 Ibid. 88 Ibid.
82

43

Takeaways While Washington State is the largest system of automobile ferries in the US, its passenger/commuterferrysystemrepresentsasmallportionoftheSeattleworking population. Of the 1,797,286 workers in the combined Seattle/Bremerton Metropolitan Statistical Area, only 3/10 of 1% commute to work by ferry. Washingtonhasarobustnetworkofferries,butitservesmainlyasanextensionof theStateHighwaysystem,notasamajorcommuterpassengerservice. Although 80% of the revenues are derived from farebox revenues, monthly commutersappeartoenjoysignificantcostsavingscomparedtothosepayingaone wayfare.Oneway(passenger)serviceis$6.90,butamonthlypasscostsjust$88. The low monthly fare (especially when compared to fares in other systems) indicatesthatpassengerserviceispartlysubsidized,probablybythehighvolumeof dailyautotrafficontheelevenotherlinesthroughouttheState.

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

CHAPTER3:RECENTATTEMPTSTOEXPANDFERRY SERVICEINNEWYORKCITY

Recent attempts to implement ferry service in the Rockaways and Yonkers exemplify the main reasons why publicly funded ferries have failed in New York City.Firstandforemost,bothweresubsidizedthroughgrantsasopposedtolong term commitments. In addition, ridership was low and did not reach initial projections. Not only were the ridership numbers disappointing, but the systems alsofailedtocaptureasignificantpercentofthemarketofthosetravelingthesame routesbetweentheferrysdestinationanditsorigin.Finally,bothrouteswerelong comparedtotheotherroutesstudiedinthispaperandperhapscomparedtodoor todoor services when traveling by subway or express buses. Longer routes translatetohighercapitalandoperatingcostsintermsofadditionalneededvessels, fuel costs and fewer sailings per hour (aka longer headway intervals.) While an expanded publicly funded ferry service may be feasible in New York City, these cases illustrate a number of challenges and hurdles such a service will need to overcomebeforeitcanbecomeareality.

I.THEROCKAWAYS In May 2008, New York Water Taxi began ferry service from the Rockaways in SoutheastQueenstoPier11inLowerManhattan.Theserviceisheavilysubsidized byNewYorkCity.Havingfailedtoreachitstargetridership,itwillceaseoperations onJune30thofthisyear. ExistingTransittotheRockaways89 The A train begins its route in the Rockaways and makes four stops in the neighborhood. The train then travels a circuitous route across Brooklyn before entering Lower Manhattan. Its path continues to Midtown and then north to WashingtonHeights.90 On Hopstop.com, a trip from Beach 125th Street at Rockaways Beach Blvd (a few blocks from the first Atrain stop) to 42nd Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan is estimatedtotake92minutes.91ThetriptoWallStreet@WaterStreetnearPier11 isestimatedtotake89minuteswithwalkingtime.92
RouteInformationfromsubwaymap:http://www.mta.info/nyct/maps/submap.htm;ExpressBusinformationfrom schedulefoundonMTAsite:http://www.mta.info/nyct/service/bus/qnsche.htm;http://www.mta.info/metrocard/ 90 Source:NYCTMap(http://www.mta.info/nyct/maps/submap.htm)Accessed4/25/10 91 Source:Hopstop.com,Accessed5/5/10 92 Ibid,Accessed5/5/10
89

45

Table5:PopulationCharacteristicsofRockawaysNeighborhoods;Source:AppleseedConsultants

The MTAs base subway fare is $2.25. Monthly passes are available for $89. In addition,dailypassesareavailablefor$8.25,weeklypassesfor$27,anda2week passcosts$25.75.93 For Western Rockaways; commute mode to Manhattan: it totals 95%, whereas centralRockawaystotalupto100%.ExpressbusservicetoMidtownManhattanis available via the QM16 bus. This route stops at four locations in the Rockaways before running express to Manhattan. Travel times from its origin at Neoponsit/Rockaway Beach to 57th Street and Third Avenue run at 78 minutes. Expressbusesoperateat20minuteheadwaysduringtheAMpeak. Oneway base fare on the express bus is $5.50 during the AM peak and $2.75 off peak. Free transfers to connecting service are allowed on this service. The MTA offers a 7day express plus fare for $45, which also allows for a free transfer. Monthlyoptionsarenotoffered,sopassengerstakingtheexpressbuspay$180. PopulationCharacteristics The Western Rockaways is home to the neighborhoods of Rockaway Park, Belle Harbor/ Neponsit, Fort Tilden, Roxbury and Breezy Point. It has a population of 17,000 people and an average household income of $59,000. 41% of the working populationcommutestoManhattan.12%(585people)commutetodowntownand 12%(719people)commutetomidtown.OftheManhattancommuters,44%took thesubway,33%drovetoworkaloneand9%carpooled.94 The population of the Central Rockaways is less affluent than the Western Rockaways. Home to Rockaway Beach and Averne, this neighborhood has a populationof21,000.Theaverageannualincomeis$34,000.Thetotalnumberof
93 94

Source:MTANewYorkCityTransit,http://mta.info/metrocard/mcgtreng.htm#unlimited,Accessed6/12/2010 Appleseed,ProposedRockawayandSoutheastBrooklynFerryLandingSites:DemographicsandMarketAnalysis, PreparedfortheNewYorkCityEconomicDevelopmentCorporation(9/27/06)

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

people in the labor force is 9,660. Of these, 2065, or 28% of the labor force commutestoManhattan.8%,or605people,commutetoLowerManhattanand8%, 596people,commutetoMidtown.64%ofthoseworkinginManhattancommuted bysubway,26%drovealonetowork,4%carpooledand6%tookthebus.95 AppleseedRidershipStudy Appleseed, a New York Citybased consulting firm, conducted a ridership assessmentfortheCity.Whiletheassumedconditionsofthisanalysisdifferedfrom the actual operations for the service that began in 2008, the report offers insights intothechallengesfacedbyferryservicefromtheRockaways. UnlikethedetailedsurveyingconductedbytheWaterTransportationAuthorityin SanFrancisco,Appleseedbaseditsmodelontimevalueconceptsdevelopedina 2001studythatestimateshowpeoplevaluetheirtimewhentakingandwaitingfor publictransit.96This,andotherdataarecomparedwiththeoutofpocketcostsof drivingandparkinginManhattan,gasoline,aonewaysubwayfareorexpressbus fare. TheanalysisassumesastopatRiisLandingandastopatPier11,twotripsinthe AMandPMpeaksthatoperateatonehourheadways(thisnecessitates2vessels),a 149 passenger ship and a $12 oneway fare that is blended to include riders who payfullfareandthosewhopurchasediscountedmonthlypasses. Atthisfare,Appleseedestimatesitwillcapture70140riders.Atafareof$4and holdingallotherassumptionsconstant,theridershipisestimatedtobe146192. AridershipassessmentstudyconductedbyAppleseedestimatedthatthemajority of the ridership would arrive at the terminal by car. There is a small walkon potentialmarketof486peoplewholivewithinamileradiusoftheferrylanding.

95 96

Ibid. Thestudy,PublicTransitValuesofTime,bytheInstituteforTransportStudiesfindsthatpeopleperceive1minutein uncongesteddriving/subwayserviceas1minute,1minutewaitingforatrainas3minutes,1minutewalkingtoatrainstation as2minutesand1.5minutesdrivingincongestedtrafficas1.5minutes.

47

Firsthalf:at$12pertrip(oneway)andthesecondhalf$4pertrip(oneway)please indicate

Table6:ProjectedOperatingExpensesforDifferentRidershipandCostScenarios;(TopTable: $4onewayfare;BottomTable:$12onewayfare)Source:AppleseedConsultants

Thetablesaboveshowrevenueprojectionsattheexpectedridershiplevels.Thetop tableshowsannualrevenuesandprojectedoperatingdeficitfora$12onewayfare andthebottomtableshowstheannualexpectedrevenueandoperatingdeficitfora $4 oneway fare. Even with a high $24 roundtrip cost, Rockaways service is expectedtooperatewithalargeoperatingdeficit. TheAppleseedstudyalsoprovidesaproformafortheRockawaysferryservice(see nextpage.)Itprojectsthatthecostoffuel(at$2.33/gallon)willequal$451,438of the $1,137,783 annual operating expenses, or 40%. If calculating the cost of fuel and considering the depreciation of the vessel, the fuel costs represent $291.25 of the$1,018costpervesselhour,or28.6%ofthetotalcostperhour. The distance between the Rockaways and Pier 11 on Google Earth is estimated to equal15.9miles.Thisdistanceismuchgreaterthanthedistancesobservedinmost oftheNJManhattan,Boston,SanFranciscoorSeattleferrysystems.

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

Table7:OperatingExpenseEstimates; Source:AppleseedConsultants

49

Table8:RockawaystoLowerManhattanRidershipbyMonthandYear Source:NYCEconomicDevelopmentCorporation

Operations97 Ferry service from the Rockaways originally operates from Riis Landing in Breezy PointtoPier11,withastopinbetweenattheBrooklynArmyTerminal.Onevessel wouldmaketwotrips,withonedepartureat5:45AMandanotherat7:45AM.Two returntripsdepartPier11at4:30PMand6:30PMintheevening.TheJourneytime fromtheRockawaystoLowerManhattanisonehour. Aonewayfarecost$6.10tripbooksareavailablefor$60and40tripbooksare availablefor$216.Thecostoftheferryridedoesnotincludetransferstoexisting MTAbusorsubwayservice. Ridership ThetableaboveshowstheactualridershipofRockawaystoLowerManhattanfrom 20082010 based on data received by the New York City Economic Development Corporation. As we can see, the ridership is well below what was predicted by Appleseed.Moreover,theAppleseedreportdidnotpredictthesignificantdropoff thatwouldoccurduringthewintermonths. InFebruary2010,theEconomicDevelopmentCorporationstatedthattheferrywas operatingata30%fareboxrecoveryratio,andthatthesubsidyperpassengerwas runningat$25(perride)partlyduetolowridershiplevels.98Theservicewas extendedinMarchwhentheCityCouncilallocatedfundstokeepservicerunning throughJune30th.99

UmarCheema,NewFerryServiceWillBeginNextWeek,TheNewYorkTimes(May6,2008) NicholasHishon,CitytoStopRockawayFerryinMarch,DailyNews,(February24,2010) 99 Source:RockawayFerrywebsite(http://rockawayferry.com/)Accessed4/20/10


97 98

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

II.YONKERS Service between Haverstaw/Yonkers and Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan operated betweenMay2007andDecember2009. Background100 Itisimportanttounderstandtheunderlyingnarrativebehindtheimplementationof ferry service from Yonkers to Lower Manhattan. While service between the RockawaysandLowerManhattanhasbeendiscussedfordecades,servicebetween Yonkers and Lower Manhattan was not a regional priority prior to its implementationin2007. TheCityofYonkershasundergonesignificantredevelopmentduringthe2000sand receivedStateattentiontodevelopnewhousing,improveitsdowntown,libraryand the MetroNorth train station. Development of a pier on the Hudson River with commuterferryservicewasexpectedtoenhanceplannedresidentialcondominiums onthewaterfront. ThesubsidyforferryservicefromYonkerswasallocatedaspartofthe$20Billion appropriatedbyCongressfollowingtheSeptember11thattackontheWorldTrade CenterthroughtheLowerManhattanDevelopmentCorporation. ExistingTransportationOptionstoManhattan101 TheCityofYonkershasapopulationof196,086.102TheMetroNorthRailroad,near GettySquare,providescommuterrailservicetoManhattan.Between5:16AMand 8:41AM,thirteentrainstravelfromYonkerstoGrandCentralTerminal.Trains departingYonkerstoGCTbetween5:15and6:28AMarriveatGCTin2531 minutes.Thosedepartingafter6:28take3436minutestoarriveatGCT.Headway intervalsduringtheAMpeakaveragetwentyminutes. TheYonkerstrainstationislocatedacrossthestreetfromtheferrypier.103 AonewaypeakfarefromYonkerstoPier11is$15.10ticketbooksareavailable for$85andmonthlypassescost$186.ItispossibletopurchaseNewYorkCity TransitticketservicethatcanbeaddedtothephysicalMetroNorthticket,butMNR ridersdonotreceiveadiscountonNewYorkCityTransitssubwaysandbuses. YonkerspassengerstravelingtodestinationsawayfromGrandCentralTerminal pay$275incombinedmonthlycosts.
AdaptedfromInterviewwithRobertMillerandPhilipPlotch,LowerManhattanDevelopmentCorporation(March26, 2010) 101 HeadwayandscheduleinformationfromMTAMetroNorthwebsite(http://www.mta.info/mnr/)andNJTransit (http://www.njtransit.com/hp/hp_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=HomePageTo)Accessed4/25/10 102 Source:Wikipedia,Accessed4/25/10 103 Source:InterviewwithRobertMillerandPhilipPlotch,LMDC(March26,2010)
100

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Table9:PopulationCharacteristicsforYonkerstoLowerManhattanTargetMarket Source:LouisBergerConsultants

ThevillageofHaverstrawislocatedinOrangeCounty.NewJerseyTransitprovides thenearestcommuterrailservice.Itislocated9.7milesaway(a17minute drive).104EighttripsdepartSpringValleyduringtheAMpeak.Afteratransferin SecaucusJunction,ridersarriveatNewYorkPennstationatanaverageof79 minutesafterdepartingSpringValley.Headwayintervalsrangefrom1325 minutesduringthistime. AonewayticketfromSpringValleycosts$8.25.Weeklyticketsareavailablefor $76.25andmonthlypassesfor$251.PassengerswhotakeNewYorkCitytransit fromPennStationpaythebase$2.25perrideor$89foramonthlypass.Forthese passengers,thetotaloutofpockettransportationcostspermonthis$340. PopulationCharacteristics TheCityofYonkershasapopulationofapproximately196,000.Themedianannual incomeis$44,600.ADraftBusinessPlanfortheferryservicebytheLouisBerger Groupestimatedthat2500YonkersresidentscommutedtojobsinLower Manhattan.105Themajorityoftheseworkersdrovetowork(53%).24%tookrail, 16%tookthesubwayand7%tookthebus.106 FurtheranalysisshowsthatYonkersresidentscommutetoarelativelydispersed areainLowerManhattan,especiallywhencomparedtothosecommutingtoLower ManhattanfromNewJersey.Forthecensuspurposes,LowerManhattanis definedastheareabelowHoustonStreet.Thismeansthatthosetakingtheferryto workdestinationsinLowerManhattanmayneedtotransfertoabusorsubwayto reachtheirfinaldestination.107
Source:GoogleMaps TheLouisBergerGroup,RidershipandRevenueAnalysisforaProposedFerryServicetoLowerManhattan,DraftReport, submittedtotheLowerManhattanDevelopmentCorporation(June2006) 106 Ibid. 107 Ibid.
104 105


Figures8+9:DestinationofManhattanBoundCommutersfromYonkersandHaverstraw; Source:TheLouisBergerGroup

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

53

ThemarketareafortheHaverstrawstationencompassedlocalitieswithina15 minutedriveoftheferrystop.HavestrawislocatedinOrangeCounty.In2000,the Countyspopulationwas293,600,withamedianhouseholdincomeof$68,000.The townofHaverstrawhadapopulationof33,800andamedianhouseholdincomeof $53,800. Themarketareacontainedapopulationof1500workerscommutingtoLower Manhattan.68%traveledbycar,17%byrailand15%bybus.108 ThesecommuterswereslightlymoreconcentratedinjobsnearPier11andthe WorldFinancialCenter,butstilllessconcentratedthanNewJerseyferry commuters. PlannedWaterfrontDevelopments NewresidentialdevelopmentattheYonkersandHaverstrawpierswasexpectedto buildridershipfortheferryservice. By2007,336unitsofaplanned850unitcondodevelopmentwerefinishedat Haverstraw.Thepriceofthecondosrangedfrom$336,000to$1Million.109 Asmentionedearlier,theYonkerswaterfrontwasundergoingextensive redevelopmentduringthistime.Ferryservicewasseenasacriticalfactorin fulfillingthecitieswaterfrontdevelopmentplans.Atotalof1,000residentialunits wereplannedalongthewaterfront.In2008,294apartmentsneartheYonkerstrain stationwere97%leasedattheHudsonParkNorthtower.110266unitsinHudson ParkSouthcameonlineinthespringof2008. Operations111 TheservicebeganoperationinMay2007.TwoferriesduringtheAMpeakperiod ranfromHaverstrawandfourfromYonkers.Journeytimesarefasterthanthe Rockawaysservice;ridersreachedtheWorldFinancialCenterin45minutesand Pier11in57minutes.Thetripis18.4nauticalmiles,muchlongerthanmostofthe tripsintheothersystemsstudied. AonewayticketfromYonkerscost$12,and$15fromHaverstraw.A10ticket bookfromYonkerscost$110andamonthlypassis$400.FromHaverstraw,a10 ticketbookcosts$130anda40ticketbookis$450. TheferryislocatedacrossaparkinglotfromtheYonkersMetroNorthStation. ParkingissharedbetweenMetroNorthandtheferry.UnlikeotherMNRparking
Ibid11 Ibid12 110 ElsaBrenner,ItHadtheSetting,NowitHastheHousing,TheNewYorkTimes,(March9,2008) 111 Ticketcost,headway,parkinglotinformationfrominterviewwithRobertMillerandPhilipPlotch,LMDC(March26,2010)
108 109

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

Table10:EstimatedRevenueProjectionsforYonkersFerry; Source:TheLouisBergerGroup

facilities,ampleparkingexistsatthislotforbothferryandrailpassengers.Also,in theeventthatapassengermissedthelastsailingfromPier11at6:30,theycould easilytakeaMetroNorthtraintotheircarinYonkers. Onboardpassengeramenitiesincludedwirelessinternet,flatscreentelevisionsand acafandbarsellingfoodanddrinks.112 RidershipProjections:MethodologyandPredictions113 TheBergeranalysispredictedridershipusingsimilarcomparisonsofcostsvs.times savingsasusedbyAppleseedtopredictridershipbetweentheRockawaysand LowerManhattan.Bergeranalyzedtheridershiptrendsofthosetakingtheferries fromMonmouthCountyandforecastedridershipbasedontheincomesandwork placedestinationsofthemarketsinYonkersandHaverstraw. ThemodelalsoconservativelyassumesthateveryonedrivingtoworkinLower Manhattanwasreimbursedbytheiremployerforthecostofparking.Thus,instead ofhavingan$800outofpocketexpensetodrivetoworkfromHaverstraw,theout ofpocketexpensewasassumedtobe$400.Becauseofthisassumption,Berger believedtheactualridershipnumbersmaybehigher,asitisunlikelythateveryone whodrovetoLowerManhattanhadtheirentirecostofparkingfullyreimbursed. ThetableaboveshowsBergerspredictedridershipfortheservicelevelmost resemblingwhatwaseventuallyputintooperation.Theassumedmonthlyfareis whatwasimplementedinYonkersandbelowthefareimplementedforHaverstraw. Thesecostsassumedservicewouldoperateon99passengervessels.Instead,the serviceoperatedontwo149passengervessels.Therefore,theactualcostsand requiredsubsidyareexpectedtobehigherthanwhatisassumedhere.

112 113

ElsaBrenner,ItHadtheSetting,NowitHastheHousing,TheNewYorkTimes,(March9,2008) TheLouisBergerGroup,RidershipandRevenueAnalysisforaProposedFerryServicetoLowerManhattan,DraftReport, submittedtotheLowerManhattanDevelopmentCorporation(June2006)

55

BusinessPlan114 Thefullbusinessplanwasnotmadeavailableforthisreport.Whatwaslearned aboutthebusinessoperationsisdescribedbelow. PaymentScheduletoNewYorkWaterTaxiThefollowingisNewYorkWater Taxisestimatedtotaloperationalhoursandoperatingexpense.Expendituresare basedonvesselsberthingfromtheCityofYonkerspier,and21commuterdaysper monthwiththeNewYorkStockExchangeholidaysexcluded. a.) YonkerstoBatteryParkCityTerminal DayRate OperatingHours: 10.5at$750/hour MobilizationHours: 2.0at$700/hour TotalDayRate: $9,275 Total(YearlyOperatingExpense): $2,337,300 b.) ExtendedServicefromtheVillageofHaverstraw,RocklandCounty,NYto BatteryParkCityTerminal DayRate OperatingHours: 9.0at$750/hour MobilizationHours: 2.0at$700/hour TotalDayRate: $13,250 Total(YearlyOperatingExpense): $3,339,000 Otherdetailsregardingthebusinessassumptionsinherentinthehourlyratewere quotedatinterviews:115 NYWaterTaxisOperatingCosts=$900$1000perhour.
114 115

Fuelcosts=$150perhour(at$2.25/gallon). Dockingfees=$25attheWFCand$16atPier11. FinancingonvesselsmakeupabouthalfofNYWaterTaxiscosts.

ObtainedfromthePortAuthorityofNY/NJ InterviewwithRobertMillerandPhilipM.Plotch,LowerManhattanRedevelopmentCorporation(March5th,2010)

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

Table11:YonkerstoLowerManhattanRidershipStatistics; Source:PortAuthorityofNewYorkandNewJersey

ActualRidership ThetableaboveshowstheactualridershipforthecombinedYonkers/Haverstraw ferryservicethroughDecember2009,whenservicewascancelled. Anumberofchangestotheserviceduringitsrunmakeithardtodrawtoomuch fromtheridershipfluctuationsobservedinthisgraph.Thesechangesinclude: Tostimulateridership,inMay200840tripticketbooksweredecreased from$450to$360fromHaverstrawandfrom$400to$320fromYonkers. RidershipinJuneskyrocketed,increasingto150/dayfrom117(a28% increase).116 InMay2009,theLMDCgrantwasdepleted.Yonkerssecuredagrantfrom theEmpireStateDevelopmentCorporationtocontinueservicefrom Yonkers.ServicefromHaverstrawwasdiscontinued.117 Inthesummerof2009,theESDCgrantwascombinedwithgrantsfromthe Yonkersdevelopmentagencies.AstopwasaddedatWest39thStreetto servethosecommutingtoMidtown.118 $50,000wasspenttomarketthenewserviceinthesummerof2009.119 Evenwiththeseconsiderations,theassumptionsoftheBergerridershipstudyare demonstrablyincorrect.Underthegiventicketprices,Bergerpredictedacombined ridershipof216in2007.Theactualridershipwas87.In2008,Bergerpredicted
InterviewwithMillerandPlotch(March26,2010) Ibid. 118 Ibid. 119 PatrickMcGeehan,FerrybetweenManhattanandYonkersisSettoStop,TheNewYorkTimes,Metro(December23,2009.)
116 117

57

306riders.WithasmallerfarethanexpectedbyBerger,theactualridershipwas 124. Ofcourse,theeconomiccrisisinSeptember2008andweakeningeconomy throughouttheearlierpartofthatyearlikelycontributedtotheweakridership. Howmuchofafactorisunknown,butBergersforecastsprojected200%more ridersin2007,250%moreridersin2008and400%moreridersin2009. Atpeakridership,theservicewasgenerating$50,000inrevenuesand$200,000in costs.Thisrepresentsafareboxrecoveryratioof25%.By2009,LMDCwas operatingtheserviceathalftheoriginallyproposedfarewith1/3oftheexpected riders.Attheendof2009,servicewascancelled.

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

III.LESSONSLEARNEDFROMTHEROCKAWAYSANDYONKERSFERRYSERVICE ThefailureoftheRockawaysandYonkersferryroutesillustrateanumberof reasonswhyexpandedpubliclyfundedferryservicehasnotsucceededinNewYork. Inthissection,welookathowtheimpactsofpoormodeling,lackofindoorwaiting facilities,longroutesandfailuretocaptureasignificantportionofthemarket betweentheoriginandcommutingdestinationledtothecancellationoftheseferry services. PoorModeling WhatismoststrikingabouttheYonkersandRockawaysservicetoLower Manhattanisthefailuretoaccuratelypredictthenumberofridersoneachofthe routes.Appleseedforecastedafareof$4woulddrawbetween146192daily passengerstotheRockawayferry.Inreality,itdrew70100withafareof$6.The LouisBergerGrouppredictedridershipwouldrampupfrom216in2007,to306 in2008to496in2009forfaresof$400permonthfromYonkersand$525per monthfromHaverstraw.Atthepredictedfarelevels,ridershipaveraged87in2008 and124in2009. Bothservicesmodeledexpectedridershipbycomparingtheoutofpocketcostsof ferryservice,transit,anddrivingcostswithtimevaluecosts.Timevaluetheory placescertainvalueoncommuterstimewhenaccessingtransit(walkingtothe subway/bus),waitingfortransit,andtravelingintransitortravelingbycar.The Bergerstudydoesnotspecifywhatvaluesitplacedonthesefactors.Appleseed providesadetaileddescriptionofhowtheymodeltheycalculatethevalueoftimeto arriveattheirestimations.120 Withoutaccurateinformationaboutwhowillridefutureferryservices,itis impossibletodeterminewhichroutesshouldbefundedandwhichroutesshouldbe ignored.Ifprovenaccurateoverthenextfewyears,theWTAsmodelingand marketingschemesbyCambridgeSystematicscouldserveasausefultooltopredict ridershiponfuturelines.Asanalternative,NewJerseyTransitforecastsferry ridershipasacomponentoftheNJTransitDemandForecastingModel.121
120

Appleseeds model of time value is derived from: M. Wardman, Public Transport Values of Time, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, Working Paper 564, December 2001. This research suggests, for example, that transit riders, on average, perceive one minute waiting for a train as feeling three times as long as one minute riding a train. Walking to the train is perceived as feeling twice as long as the actual time. And driving in congested traffic is perceived as taking 1.5 times as long as the actual time. The time spent accessing, waiting, and riding a train, bus, ferry or car is then multiplied by $23/hour (a figure identified by NYMTC to measure the average value of time for the average worker in the New York region) to identify the perceived cost of journey time for all modes. CambridgeSystematics,SouthAmboyFerryResearchStudy,FinalReport,PreparedfortheNewJerseyTransit Corporation(March2007)ES1

121

59

Table11:TripLengthsforAllFerryRoutesinReport;VariousSources

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

Alloftheseferryterminalswereconstructedwithoutenclosedstructurestoprotect passengersfromtheelements.Apartialenclosuremayhavebeenconstructedat theYonkersterminal,butthiscouldnotbeconfirmed. SignificantDeviationsinWintervs.SummerRidership BoththeYonkersandRockawaysferryexperiencedsignificantdeviationsin ridershipduringthewintermonthscomparedtothesummer.In2007,theYonkers ferryexperienceda10%deviationinridershipanda20%deviationduring2008. TheRockawaysferryexperiencedanevengreaterdeviationinridership,witha 40%deviationin2008anda32%deviationin2009. Asdiscussedearlier,almostalloftheNewJerseytoLowerManhattanferrieshad fullyenclosedterminalsatthepierwithamenities.Partlyasaresultofthis,allof theNewJerseyroutesoperatedatrelativelyconsistentridershiplevelsthroughout theyear.Mostroutesdeviatedbyfivetoninepercent. LongRoutes Atdistancesof18.4milesfromYonkersandsixteenmilesfromtheRockaways, theseroutesaresomeofthelongestexaminedinthisreport.Withtheexceptionof theMonmouthCountyferriesinNewJersey,theVallejoferryinCaliforniaandthe BremertonferryinWashington,allotherferryserviceshavedistancesmuchshorter thantheseroutes. Detailedproformaswerenotmadeavailableforthisreport,buttheOperating ExpenseEstimateprovidedbytheNewYorkCityEconomicDevelopment Corporationestimatedfuelcostsmakeup3040%ofthecostsofoperatingthe service.Longertripsresultinmorefuelused,whichinturnresultinhighercosts. Withoutasustainedhighridershiplevels,theseroutesquicklyturnintobigmoney losers. TheotherrouteswithasimilarlengtharethoseinMonmouthCounty,NewJersey, Vallejo,CaliforniaandBremerton,Washington.Ofthese,theMonmouthferries operateasapremiumservicetoawealthyclientele. TheBremertonferryservesamiddleincomecommunity.Theaverageincomein theBremertonMSAis$59,136.But,asdiscussedearlier,theoverallfarebox recoveryfortheWashingtonStateFerriesis80%.Thus,Bremertoncommuter passengers(whopay$88.30foramonthlypass)maybebenefittingfromthehigher costschargedtocars. AlongdistanceferrycurrentlyoperatesfromVallejo,California.Accordingtothe 2008AmericanCommunitySurvey,theaverageincomeintheVallejoUrbanized Area(thisincludesVallejoandneighboringtowns)is$65,233.WETAexpectsthat 61

thisservice,whichattracts2,300peopleperday,willonlyrecoup45%ofcostsfrom fareboxrevenues. Whilelowmoderateincome/longdistanceferriesexist,theyaredefinitelythe exceptionandnotthenorm.Theirdistancewillcertainlymakethemmorecostly forbothpassengersandtheiroperators. DespiteOneSeatRideAlternative,YonkerstoLowerManhattanFailedtoCapturea SignificantMarketShare OnereasonthatplannerswouldexpectaYonkerstoLowerManhattanferryservice tothriveisthatitwouldprovideaoneseatridealternativetothosecurrentlytaking theMetroNorthtoGrandCentralandthentransferringtotheLexingtonAvenue subway.InadditiontothetimesavingsbenefitsofdirectservicebetweenYonkers andLowerManhattan,passengerswouldnotneedtomakeatransfertoreach LowerManhattan Ifweassumethat60%oftheridershipontheYonkers/Haverstrawferrycamefrom Yonkers122,theYonkersferryserviceattracted52people,oronly2%oftheentire LowerManhattanmarketin2007.In2008,itattracted74Yonkersresidentsliving inLowerManhattan,or3%ofthemarket.Consideringthecostoftheferrywasonly $75morethanthecostofacombinedmonthlyMetroNorthandNewYorkCity Transitmonthlypass,itshardtounderstandwhytheroutedidntattractalarger shareofthemarket. In fact, the Louis Berger model assumed that the Yonkers portion of the ferry would capture 29% of the Yonkers to Lower Manhattan market and 12% of the Haverstraw to Lower Manhattan market.123 *** ThefailureoftheRockawaysandYonkersservicetoLowerManhattanillustratesa numberofissueswithimplementingnewferryserviceinNewYorkCity.Bothfailed tocorrectlyforecastthenumberofriderswhowouldusetheservice.Similarly, bothexperiencedsignificantridershipdecreasesduringthewintermonthsthisis likelytheresultofthelackofindoorwaitingfacilitiesattheterminals.Thetwo routeswerelongerthanmostoftheroutesstudiedinthispaperwhichledtohigher gasandotheroperatingexpensesaswellascapitalcosts.Finally,neitherofthe ferriescameclosetocapturingasignificantportionofthemarketexpectedtobe servedbytheferryservice.
Thisisaroughassumptionsbasedonaridershipof67inMay2009,themonthafterthestopatHaverstrawwaseliminated. InApril,thelastmonthofcombinedYonkers/Haverstrawservice,theridershipwas117.Ifweassumeridershipstayedthe samebetweenAprilandMay,Yonkersridershipwouldhavemadeup60%ofthetotalridership. 123 TheLouisBergerGroup,RidershipandRevenueAnalysisforaProposedFerryServicetoLowerManhattan,DraftReport, submittedtotheLowerManhattanDevelopmentCorporation(June2006)27
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CHAPTER 4: CHALLENGES TO EXPANDED FERRY SERVICE AND RECOMMENDATIONS

WhatwouldittaketocreatearobustsystemofpubliclysubsidizedferriesinNew York?Thischapterattemptstoanswersuchaquestionbyidentifyingsomeofthe major challenges to implementing ferry service in New York and proposing a financing and business plan for a route using a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) scheme. I.CHALLENGESIDENTIFIED ExistingPublic?TransitInfrastructure WhileNewYorksextensivetransitinfrastructureisamajorassetforresidentsand theNewYorkseconomy,itisadeterrenttoimplementingnewferryservice.The ferrysystemsinSanFrancisco,WashingtonandtheNewJerseyHudsoncoastwere developed because these cities lacked solid options to connect residents to destinationsacrossmajorbodiesofwater. InSanFrancisco,theBARTcrossestheBayfromtheeast,butpeoplelivingnorthof San Francisco in Marin County only have the option of taking buses across the congested Golden Gate Bridge. In Washington State, the only bridge connecting Puget Sound to the western part of the state is located 20 miles south of Seattle. AndtheHudsonCoasthasfarfewerpublictransitoptionstoManhattancompared totheboroughsofQueens,BrooklynandtheBronx. ThisisnotthecaseinNewYorkCity.SeventeensubwaytunnelsconnectManhattan tofourofitsboroughsandninebridgesandtunnelsconnectautomobiletrafficfrom these boroughs to Manhattan. In Boston, where there are a number of land and bridge/tunnel options to the Central Business District124, ferry service began to mitigate traffic congestion during the construction of the Southeast expressway duringthe1980s. NewYorkhasaHighlyEfficientTransitNetwork Not only does New Yorks transportation network already get people where they want to go, it does so at a very low cost compared to all of the other networks studied.Bostonsfarerecoveryratiois32%.Thefarerecoveryformajorcitiesin theUSismuchlower.Forexample:WashingtonDC(38%),Chicagois41%.125
Theseinclude:SeaportBoulevardBridge,theCharlestownBridge,Route3Bridge,ZakimBridge,MonseignuerOBrien HighwayBridge(MARoute28),Massachusetts3ABridge,MassachusettsAvenueBridge,BostonUniversityBridge,MARoute 20Bridge,NorthArsenalStreetBridge,EliotBridge,JFKStreetBridge,JohnW.WeeksBridge,WesternAvenueBridge(Source: GoogleEarth,Accessed6/12/10) 125 NationalTransportationDatabase,2008
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The Rockaways ferry service was operating at a 1530% fare recovery and the Yonkersferry,atitspeak,wasoperatingata25%farerecovery.Whilethismightbe acceptable for new services in other cities, in New York it is seen as an inefficient useofscarceresources. WhenplanningSanFranciscosferryservice,theWTApredictedfarerecoveryratios between29%and57%.Becausetheseservicesintendedtogetpeopleoutoftheir cars, they were able to market the new ferry service as an environmental improvement, ultimately creating new taxes to support the system. By contrast, servicefromtheRockawaysorYonkersissimplyimprovingtransportationoptions for a slice of the population. But what is the larger policy goal? Why should the Rockaways and Yonkers get great service and the rest of the city be cramped into subwaysandslowbusservice?Shouldnttheseresourcesbeallocatedtoallowfor thebroadestpossiblebenefit? TheSuccessofPrivateFerriesfromNewJerseytoManhattan The continued operation of the services between New Jersey and Manhattan have ledmanytobelievethatferryservicethatcannotsucceedwithoutapublicsubsidy is probably not in the publics interest. This has led people to overlook the many advantages that the New Jersey ferries have over other similar transit options throughouttheworld. First,theNewJerseyferriesenjoyanadvantageinthattheytravelshorterdistances thanferrysystemsinotherpartsofthecountry.12ofthe18ferriesstudiedinthis reportareunderfourmilesindistance,6areunderthreemilesandfiveareunder2 milesindistance.Incomparison,theshortestroutepartofSanFranciscossystem is5miles.OtherSanFranciscoroutesrunat8,24,12,7,and12.6milesinlength. Bostonroutesare10,10.8,1,and8.5milesinlength(the1mileroutecosts$1.70 oneway.) New York Citys Economic Development Corporations operating cost model estimatesthatfuelcostsequal3040%ofaferrysoperatingcost.Giventhis,wecan assume that the average fuel cost per customer in New Jersey is much lower than whatisspentinBostonandSanFrancisco.

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

II.ALONGTERMSTRATEGYTOEXPANDFERRYSERVICE Alongtermstrategytoexpandferryservicewouldpairaresidentialdevelopment strategyatthewaterfrontwithavaluecaptureorTaxIncrementFinance(TIF)plan that pays for ongoing capital investments and operations subsidy of ferry routes. TIF plans tax a percent of the increased land values that arise through public investments,suchaspublictransportation.126 TIFs have been widely used in California and Chicago.127 The State of Maryland recentlyadoptedaTransportationOrientedDevelopmentlawthatexpandedtheuse ofTIFstofinancetransportationcapitalprojects.128ATIFwillalsobeusedtopay off bonds, financing the expansion of the No. 7 train to Hudson Yards on Manhattansfarwestside.129 ArgumentforTIFFinancing A large body of research has demonstrated the positive economic impacts to residential land values as a result of public transit proximity.130 Apartments developedwithinofamileofthePleasantHillBARTstationin(whatcity)rented for 10% more per square foot than those located farther away from the station. TwobedroomapartmentswithinmilefromBARTstationsrentedfor16%more thanthoseinadjacentneighborhoodsthatwerefartherawayfromBART.Another study found that the median home price near a light rail station connecting PhiladelphiatosuburbanNewJerseywas10%moreexpensivethaninothercensus tracts.131Thesearejustafewexamplesofhundredsthatcouldbecitedbyplanners tojustifyaTIFonresidentialdevelopmentnearnewferryservice. In addition, new development and zoning changes often create costs for public transitthatislaterabsorbedbythegeneralpublic.Forexample,theEnvironmental Impact Study for the Greenpoint/Williamsburg (Brooklyn) rezoning estimates significantimpactstotrainsandstationsasaresultofnewdevelopmentallowedby the rezoning.132 Instead of expecting the New York Citys Metropolitan TransportationAuthoritytopickupthecostsofnewdevelopments,
Source:Wikipedia Source:LarryMarks,TheEvolvingUseofTIFReview(Summer2005) (www.cdfa.net/cdfa/cdfaweb.nsf/.../$FILE/evolving_tif.pdf) Chicago,NeigborhoodCapitalBudgetGroup(http://www.ncbg.org/tifs/tifs.htm)Accessed5/5/10 128 CouncilofDevelopmentFinanceAgencies (http://www.cdfa.net/cdfa/cdfaweb.nsf/ord.html?open&tag=TIF%20Case%20Studies&start=26&count=25) 129 Source:Wikipedia 130 SeeRobertCervero,TransitBasedHousingintheSanFranciscoBayArea:MarketProfilesandRentPremiums, TransportationQuarterly,Vol.50,No.3,pp.3347,1996;DeanH.GatzlaffandMarcT.Smith,TheImpactofthe MiamiMetrorailontheValueofResidencesNearStationLocations,LandEconomics,Vol.69,No.1,VladimirBajic,The EffectsofaNewSubwayLineonHousingPricesinMetropolitanToronto,UrbanStudies,Vol.20,1983. pp.5466,1993;Also,TheEffectofRailTransitonPropertyValues:ASummaryofStudies,ParsonsBrinckerhoff(Feb27, 2001) 131 RoderickB.Diaz,ImpactsofRailTransitonPropertyValues,BoozAllenandHamiltonInc(2003)Foundat: www.reconnectingamerica.org/public/show/bestpractice162 132 NewYorkCityDepartmentofCityPlanning,Greenpoint/WilliamsburgEnvironmentalImpactStatement,Transitand Pedestrians,(2003)1733;TheEISestimatesthat1,897newtripswillbecreatedduringtheAMpeakattheGreenpoint AvenuestopontheGtrain.ThiswillresultinBrooklynBoundGtrainsrunningat91%ofcapacityasopposedto83%capacity
126 127

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Figure10:ProposedTIFDistrictinGreenpoint;MapadaptedfromNYCDepartment ofCityPlanningEnvironmentalImpactStudy(2003)

aTIFschemewouldrequirebeneficiariesofnewtrainstocontributetoitsongoing operation. Thevalueaddedbyinvestmentsinpublictransportationcombinedwiththecurrent costsassociatedwithincreaseddevelopmentmakeastrongcaseforimplementinga TaxIncrementFinancingschemetofundfutureferryroutes. ATIFFinancingSchemeAppliedtoProjectedDevelopmentinGreenpoint/ Williamsburg Implementinga10or20centTIFontheprojecteddevelopmentwithinofamile oftwopiersinGreenpointandWilliamsburgrezonedin2004couldraiseupto $400,000$800,000peryear.
aswouldbethecaseifnorezoningoccurred.TheBedfordAvenueLtrainwouldexperiencethesecondhighestincreasein tripsduetotherezoning.961tripswillbecreated.132 ThiswillresultinLtraincarsrunningat102%ofcapacityduringthe AMpeakasopposedto97%capacitywithnoaction.

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

ThepicturesbelowshowanareaofamilefromtheNorthsidePierin Williamsburg(below)andtheGreenpointNorthpier(nextpage.) Asdepictedinthekey,propertiesinbeigerepresentthosethattheNewYorkCity DepartmentofCityPlanningidentifiedashavingpotentialfordevelopmentunder therezoning.Thepropertiesinbrownarethosethatareprojectedtobe developedundertheplannedrezoning. Thetableonthenextpageshowsthetotalprojecteddevelopmentallowedbythe proposedrezoningbylot.Eachlotnumbercorrespondstothenumberlistedonthis map.Theseprojectionsareconservativeastheyonlyconsidertheprojected development,notthepotentialdevelopmentproposed.Wherealotsdevelopmentis apotentialandnotexpected,thecellnexttothelotnumberisempty.

Figure11:ProposedTIFDistrictinWilliamsburg;AdaptedfromNYC DepartmentofCityPlanningEnvironmentalImpactStudy(2003)

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Table13:ExpectedDevelopmentinProposedTIFDistrict;Source:NYCDepartmentofCityPlanning Greenpoint/WilliamsburgRezoning,Chapter1

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

Table14:PotentialRevenuesfromWilliamsburgandGreenpointTIFDistrict Revenue Thetableaboveshowsthepotentialrevenueraisedbyimplementinga10centtax persquarefootofdevelopmentinthemileofnewdevelopmentbytwoBrooklyn piersintheGreenpoint/Williamsburgrezoningareas. Tointroduceafurtherlevelofconservatism,Iaddedprojectionsofhowmuch wouldberaisedifonlyapercentoftheprojecteddevelopmentoccurred.If100%of expecteddevelopmentoccurs,$407,327couldbecollectedusinga10centTIF. With25%ofdevelopment,$101,832couldbecollected.Ata20centTIF,a maximumof$814,654couldberaisedat100%developmentor$203,664at25% development. UsingtheNewYorkCityEconomicDevelopmentCorporationsoperatingexpense estimatesfromtheirstudyanalyzingthepotentialcostforaservicetothe Rockaways,wecanestimatethenumberofridersneededbetweenWilliamsburg/ Greenpointtomakeaservicelikethisfeasible.Theseestimatesweremadefora servicebetweentheRockawaysandLowerManhattan,butwerebasedonhourly operatingassumptions.Thecostsperhouraresimilartothosequotedtomeby officialsfromtheLowerManhattanDevelopmentCorporation,sotheyarewithin reasonasbaselinesforaGreenpoint/Williamsburgferryservice. 69

Table15(Top):BusinessPlanfor10CentTIFperSquareFoot; Table16(Bottom):BusinessPlanfor20CentTIFperSquareFoot Thechartaboveshowsthenumberofpassengersneededtosustainferryservice betweenGreenpoint/WilliamsburgandPier11inLowerManhattan.Themodel startswiththetotalannualcostsexpectedbytheCitytooperatea149passenger ferryfromtheRockawaystoLowerManhattan. ThesubsidyfromtheTIFisthensubtractedfromtheannualoperatingcosts.This totaloperatingcostisthendividedby1550,thehoursofexpectedoperationforthe ferryservice.1550hoursallowsforoperationsduring6.2hoursoftheday,3.1 hoursduringtheAMandPMrushperiods.Thehourlyrateisthendividedbya proposed$6ticketprice,similartowhatiscurrentlybeingchargedtoservicefrom thefarRockaways.Atthislevelofservice,wecannowdeterminethenumberof passengersneededperhourandnumberoftotalroundtrippassengersperday. NewYorkWaterTaxicurrentlyrunsoneferrybetweenLongIslandCity,East34th Street,Williambsurg,DumboandPier11.Evenwithallthesestops,theboattravels fromLongIslandCitytoWallStreetin33minutes.Giventhis,itispossiblethatthis ferryservicewouldbeabletoruntwoloopsbetweenGreenpoint,Williamsburgand Pier11inonehour.Furtheranalysiswillbeneededtodetermineifthisispossible. Given that a Williamsburg/Greenpoint ferry will be serving a largely affluent clientele,aTIFfinancingschemeisjustifiableinthatitwilltaxtherichtoprovide servicesfortherich. The Edge in Brooklyn is a waterside condo development directly adjacent to the proposed ferry stop at the Northside Piers. Its website currently lists 67

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

apartments for purchase. The apartments range in size from 490 square feet to 2530 square feet. The average size of an apartment is 1126 square feet. Prices rangefrom$390,000to$2,735,000.Theaveragepriceis$1,077,805.133 Under a 10cent TIF per square foot, the average person who purchases an apartment after May 5th, 2010 would pay $112.26 per year. If we conservatively estimate that continued ferry operation would increase the average value of their apartmentby5%,theyferrywouldenhancethevalueoftheir$1,077,805apartment by $53,890. In this scenario, the TIF paid per year represents 2/10 of 1% of the assumed enhancement added by the new ferry service. If someone owned their apartmentfor20years,theywouldhavecontributed4%ofthecostoffinancingthe $53,890ofvalueaddedfromtheferryservice. Undera20centTIFpersquarefoot,theaveragepersonpurchasinganapartment afterMay5th2010wouldpay$224.52peryear.Ata5%assumedenhancementto theirpropertyisstill$53,890.Inthisscenario,theTIFpaidperyearrepresents2/5 of 1% of the assumed enhancement added by the new ferry service. If someone ownedtheirapartmentfor20years,theywouldhavecontributed8%ofthecostof financingthe$53,890ofvalueaddedfromtheferryservice.

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http://www.williamsburgedge.com/availability,Accessed5/5/10

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III.SHORTTERMRECOMMENDATIONS SurveyExistingandPotentialRidersofFerryService SanFranciscospentsignificantsumsofmoneyandtimeidentifyingthelocalmarket forferryservicebasedoninterviewswithexistingandpotentialferryriders.Even with these studies, the primary motivations of those identified as potential users werefairlystraightforward.ForthoselivingnorthofSanFranciscowhocurrently commutebycarorbus,themessagewillfocusontimesavings.Commuterslivingin Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, where BART service offers a faster and less expensivecommute,themarketingwillfocusonimprovingeverydayqualityoflife. ThenewroutesidentifiedbyWTAarejustbeginningservicethisyear.Itispossible thatSanFranciscohasdoneaspoorajobpredictingridershipastheircounterparts didinNewYorkCity. Surveys could take the form of citywide telephone surveys, or of specific neighborhoods, or of subway riders where ferry service may improve commute times.Finally,asurveycouldanalyzeridershipofpeoplewhocurrentlytakeferry servicefromtheRockawaystoLowerManhattan.Thisservicewillbeinoperation throughJune30th. Itwillbeimportanttoidentifythepricepointthatcommutersarewillingtopayfor ferries compared to the bus or subway. The survey should identify the impact of headwayintervallength.Whileheadwayintervalsdonotappeartoimpactservice in other cities, New York is unique in the wide range of public transit available at frequent headway intervals. It is possible that New Yorkers are more sensitive to frequencyofservicethanpeoplelivinginothercities. Further analysis would also consult with agencies and consulting firms that have expertise in forecasting ferry ridership. This could include discussions with the consulting firm that produced the ridership modeling for San Francisco. This company also conducted the survey of passengers taking the South Amboy ferry serviceforNewJerseyTransit. PursueShortDistanceRoutes Withafewexceptions,theroutesinexistencenationallyarerelativelyshort.Fuel costs can represent 3040% of a ferry services budget; so increased distances will increasethemarginalcostsforoperations. Long distance routes work better if paired with shortdistance routes with high fareboxrecoveryratios.AnexampleofthiscanbeseeninSanFrancisco,wherethe WETAwilltakeovera24mileroutebetweenVallejoandSanFrancisco.Itwillalso be operating a number of shorter distance ferries. The Washington State Ferries operate a 16mile ferry between Bremerton and Seattle, but this is part of a

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

statewidenetworkserving65,000passengersdaily.IfNewYorkwantstooperate routesthatarefarfromtheirfinaldestination,itneedstomaketheseroutespartof alargernetworkorbepreparedtoheavilysubsidizetheiroperations. Short distance trips can reduce capital costs and and allow operators to offer the convenienceoffrequentservice.TheNewJerseyroutesareshortenoughthatthe samevesselcanmakeonetripseveraltimesoveranhour. DevelopRoutesforCommuterswithaDisposableIncome Ferryroutesshouldbedevelopedforthosewillingtopayforapremiumcommute. The San Francisco marketing study explicitly states that WETA is not targeting existing BART commuters. The rational for this is not explained, but it is possible that their market research concluded that most public transit commuters either couldntaffordorwerenotwillingtopayforanenhancedcommute. InMonmouthCounty,ManhattanboundcommutershavethechoiceoftakingaNew Jersey Transit train to Manhattan, but a large plurality choose the ferry to reduce triptimes. ThisandotherevidencesuggeststhemarketforferryserviceinNewYorkwillbe limited to those willing to pay for a better commute. New Yorkers already have goodcommuteoptionsferryrouteswillimproveontheseoptions,buttheyhave notdrawnahighnumberofmiddleincomecommuterswhenagoodrailconnection isavailable. An argument can be made for the positive policy benefits of this approach. After decades of the middle and uppermiddle classes fleeing to the suburbs, these populations have begun to move back to the cities. Cities can attract and retain these populations by accommodating the premium they place on their time and theirqualityoflife. Planning services for a premium population means that subsidies will need to be drawnfromthewealthy,asopposedtothegeneralpopulation. ConstructIndoorTerminalsorExperimentwithSeasonalService ThesignificantridershipshiftsduringthewintermonthsforboththeYonkersand theRockawaysservicecomparedtotheNewJerseyferryroutessuggestthatroutes without indoor terminals will experience large ridership decreases during the winter months. Ridership on the Yonkers and Rockaways service declined by 20 40% during the winter, but ridership for New Jerseys routes declined only 59%. San Franciscos WETA has recognized the importance of enclosed facilities and is planningtoconstructnewfacilitiesaspartofitslongtermstrategy. 73

If this is costprohibitive, a seasonal service running from April through October couldalsobeexplored.Thismayhavetheimpactoflimitingridership. ConnectNewFerryServicetoBroaderIssues Makingtheconnectionbetweennewferryserviceandestablishedpolicygoalswill strengthenthepublicargumentforferryservice.InSanFrancisco,theWTAs2003 FinalOperatingPlanmadeacaseforaregionalferrysystemsimportanceasbotha securitymeasureintheevenofanearthquakeorterroristattack.Giventhenational focus on security and the emerging focus of climate change, their message echoed withthepublic. In New York, ferry advocates could tout the economic development benefits, or makethecasethatferryserviceisneededtoaddresssystemwidecongestion. StartSmalltoPursueAmbitiousLongTermGoals San Franciscos Water Transportation Authority was created in 1999 to study the possibleconsolidationofexistingferryserviceandtostudynewroutes.Thissmall step led to the creation of what is now the Water Emergency Transportation Authority, which will operate several new ferry routes in the Bay Area. The San Francisco case study shows how starting small can lead to the realization of big policygoalsinthelongterm.

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

III.FERRYCORRIDORSFORFURTHERANALYSIS The corridors described below were selected for further exploration. All would serveapopulationwillingtopayforapremiumcommuteandareshortindistance. Inadditiontothetransportationbenefitsforthosetakingferriesfromtheseroutes, all would add redundant services and relieve crowding on subway lines experiencingpeakhourcongestion.Infact,mostwoulddrawfromsomeofthemost crowdedsubwaylinesinthecity(4,5,6,L,7). Brooklyn/QueensEastRiverService PotentialStops:QueensWest,HuntersPoint,Greenpoint,NorthsidePiers,Shaefers Landing The East River waterfront of Brooklyn and Queens experienced significant residential development during the 1990s and 2000s and will be a key neighborhood to accommodate New York Citys growth in future decades. Developmenthasbeenbuiltforhighincomeearnerswhomaybewillingtopayfora premium commute. Service could also serve those commuting to businesses on WaterStreet,whichisa510minutewalkfromthe4,5trains. Innauticalmiles,QueensWestsdevelopmentsare4.3milesfromPier11.Theyare 1.2milesfromtheEast34thStreetferryterminal.Notonlyisthislocationdirectly adjacenttotheNYUMedicalFacilityandblocksfromthecitysponsoredEastRiver SciencePark,ferryroutesherecouldbeservedbyBusRapidTransit,whichtheCity willsoonimplementonEast34thStreet.Thecitysplanscallsforagradeseparated buslanethatwillspeedbusserviceacrosstownby35%. EastSideofManhattan PotentialStops:CarlSchurzPark(86thStreet),UnitedNations,ConEdisonWaterside Site,East34thStreetferryterminal,RooseveltIsland. The East Side of Manhattan is home to an affluent population that is currently underservedbyexistingrailoptionsgivenitsdensity.ResidentsofEastEndAvenue walk at least a mile to the 86th Street Station of the Lexington Avenue subway. EvenwhentheSecondAvenueSubwayisbuilt,theseresidentswillwalkatleast2/5 of a mile to the nearest subway station. Furthermore, the new subway will only makestopsat96th,86th,72ndand63rdStreets,leavingalargecatchmentareaofthe neighborhoodwithoutconvenientaccesstothenewsubway. The demand for improved service to Lower Manhattan can be seen by the popularityofataxistandatYorkAvenueandEast79thStreet.Fourpassengersata

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timepay$6eachwayforservicetoWallStreet.134Ifthesecommutersarediverted toferryservice,thisroutecouldhavepositiveenvironmentalbenefits. Service from the Upper East Side could also connect to the former Con Edison Waterside site, which was rezoned in 2008 to allow for 6 Million Square feet of residential, commercial and retail over 9.2 acres inbetween the UN and the East 34thStreetferryterminal.OpportunitiesmayalsoexisttoaddastopatRoosevelt Island,wherenewresidentialbeendevelopedinrecentyears. FromCarlSchurzParkat86thStreet,Pier11is6.5milesbysea.Itis8.5milesfrom theWorldFinancialCenter. WestSideofManhattan PossibleStops:RiversideSouth,West42ndStreet,HudsonYards,WestChelsea TheWestSideofManhattanhasexperiencedorisexpectedtoexperiencesignificant residential development in future years. Recently, residential units have been developedatRiversideSouthandinHellsKitchen.TheCityhasalsoupzonedthe Hudson Yards between 28th and 42nd Streets and the High Line District between TenthandEleventhAvenuefromWest16thtoWest30thStreet. Given the scale of potential for new development on the West Side, new ferry servicecouldbeanattractiveoptionforitsresidents. StatenIsland PossibleRoutes:St.GeorgetoMidtown,OthersTBD Unlike the rest of New York City, Staten Island is not connected to the central business districts by rail. In addition, Staten Islands population grew at 9.8% between2000and2008,aratethatfaroutpacedtherestoftheotherfourboroughs. Giventhelackoftransportationoptions,newferryservicefromStatenIslandwould create a oneseat ride to West 39th Street, or connect those commuting to East Midtown via East 34th Street. Existing ferry service from Whitehall Streets allows westMidtown commuters to transfer directly to the 1 train and the R/W train. Those commuting to East Midtown walk of a mile to the 4,5 trains at Bowling Green. New service would have citywide benefits of reducing congestion on the packedLexingtonAvenueexpresstrains. During interviews, one transportation professional suggested a route from Staten Island might be fully supported by farebox revenues. New service could depart
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MichaelM.Grynbaum,StandthatBlazedCabSharingPathHasEtiquetteAllItsOwn,TheNewYorkTimes,(June18,2009)

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

fromtheSaintGeorgeTerminalorfromanotherlocationinStatenIslandtoattracta parkandsailridership. Atadistanceof9.5miles,aferryservicefromSt.GeorgetoEast34thStreetwouldbe longerthanmanyoftheroutesexaminedhere,butnowherenearaslongasthetrips from Yonkers to Lower Manhattan or the Rockaways to Lower Manhattan. In addition,newStatenIslandservicemayaccommodatethosecurrentlytakingeither atwoorthreeseatridetoreachwork. Of course, further market research and analysis will be needed, but a route from StatenIslandisanobviouschoicefornewservicegivenitslargepopulationandits limitedconnectivityoptionstoMidtown.

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IV.CONCLUSION Thispapersoughttounderstandwhypubliclyfundedferryservicehasfailedto succeedinNewYorkCity.Expandedferryservicehasreceivedsupportfromthe SpeakeroftheCityCounciland,toalesserextent,fromtheMayorsOffice.Given ManhattansgeographyasanislandandthecurrentpressuresonNewYorkCitys existingtransportationnetwork,thedevelopmentofnewferryserviceseemsa logicalwaytospurwaterfrontdevelopmentandprovidenewtransitoptions. Aswehaveseen,thedevelopmentofasubsidizedferryserviceinNewYorkwillface significantchallenges.TheexistingnetworkofferriesbetweenNewJerseyand Manhattanis100%privateandenjoysanumberofadvantagesoverrecently attemptedpubliclyfundedroutesintheRockawaysandYonkers.TheNJlinesare shorterinlength,serveawealthierclienteleandenjoyenclosed,weatherprotected facilities.Furthermore,theNewJerseyferriesgenerallyprovidethefastestand easiestroutestoManhattansCentralBusinessDistricts,whiletheRockawaysand Yonkersferriescompetewithaworldclasssubwayandcommuterrailnetwork. WhiletheNewYorkferriesmayofferalesscrowdedcommute,theydonotofferthe benefitsandconveniencethattheNewJerseyferriesdo. Theexperienceofothercitieswithurbanferrysystemsdoesnotprovideaclear pathforwardforNewYork.SanFranciscosexampleoffersablueprintonhowto createaconsolidatedsystemofferrynetworks,butthesystemitselfis,asofnow, untested.Inaddition,inSanFranciscoanumberofkeyfactorsmayexplainits regionaladvantagewhenitcomestomaintainingtheferryservices.Theseinclude itsgeography,thelimitednumberofbridgeandtunnelconnectionstoitscentral businessdistrict(comparedtoNewYork),andtheregionshistoryoflocalities subsidizingferryserviceserveasregionaladvantages.Bostonsferriesbegan duringamajorhighwayreconstructioninthe1980sanditsunclearwhythey remaininoperation.AndSeattlessystemismadepossiblebecausetheStateof WashingtonneverbridgedmostofthePugetSound.TheSeattleportionofthe largerstatewidenetworkappearstobefinanciallysupportedbythelargestatewide ferryserviceservingpassengersandcars. InthefinalChapter,basedonthesmallamountoffinancialinformationavailable thispaperofferssuggestionsforfutureferryroutesforaNewYorkferrysystemand proposesafundingschemeforaWilliamsburg/Greenpointferry. WhiletherealityofexpandedferryserviceinNewYorkhasbeendisappointingso far,itspromiseisstillcompelling.Newlandforresidentialdevelopmentisin abundancenearthewaterfront.IfNewYorkCityspopulationdoesindeedincrease byonemillionby2030,newformsoftransitwillbeneeded.Ferryservicesthat serveandaresubsidizedbyanuppermiddleclasscouldbeacomponentofserving futuretransitdemandsandameansofattractingandretainingtheseresidentsin thelongterm.However,untilthisresidentialdevelopmenttakesplaceonornear

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

thecityswaterfront,thedemandforferrytravelwillnotbesufficienttojustify broadregionalferryservicesinNewYorkCity.

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UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

APPENDICES

BIBLIOGRAPHY Interviews: 1. AmitK.Bhowmick,Manager,FerryOperations,FerryTransportation,The PortAuthorityofNewYorkandNewJersey 2. JanetCox,GeneralManager,FerryTransportation,ThePortAuthorityofNew YorkandNewJersey 3. TomFox,President,NewYorkWaterTaxi 4. DavidHopkins,VicePresident,Maritime,NYCEconomicDevelopment Corporation 5. RobertE.Paaswell,Ph.D.,InterimPresident,CityCollegeofNewYork 6. PhillipM.Plotch,DirectorofWTCRedevelopmentandSpecialProjects, LowerManhattanDevelopmentCorporation 7. RobertMiller,VicePresident,LowerManhattanDevelopmentCorporation 8. AlanOlmstead,ExecutiveDirector,OfficeofPrivateFerries,NYCDepartment ofTransportation 9. BillWheeler,DirectorofPlanning,MetropolitanTransportationAuthority 10. AdamZaranko,SeniorProjectManager,Maritime,NYCEconomic DevelopmentCorporation 11. JeffZupan,SeniorFellow,RegionalPlanAssociation Reports: 1. CambridgeSystematics,SouthAmboyFerryResearchStudyMarch2007)(1 1) 2. TheLouisBergerGroup,RidershipandRevenueAnalysisforaProposed FerryServicetoLowerManhattan,SubmittedtotheLowerManhattan DevelopmentCorporation(June2006) 3. CambridgeSystematics,SouthAmboyFerryResearchStudy,Preparedfor theNewJerseyTransitCorporation,(March2007)Chapter3,45 4. PortAuthorityofNY/NJ,InteragencyStudyofRegionalPrivatePassenger FerryServicesintheNewYorkMetropolitanArea,11 5. JeffreyZupan,PaperonNYRegionalFerryService,RegionalPlan Association(November2006.) 6. NewYorkMetropolitanTransportationAuthority,SecondAvenueSubway EnvironmentalImpactStatement,Chapter5B,(May,2004)20 7. PlaNYC:AGreener,GreaterNewYork,IntroductionNewYorkCity(3) 8. NYCDepartmentofCityPlanning,Celebrating100Rezonings, http://nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/rezonings/index.shtmlAccessed5/5/10 9. TheFurmanCenter,HowHaveRecentRezoningsAffectedNewYorkCitys AbilitytoGrow?NewYorkUniveristy(March2010)8

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10. NYPIRGStraphangersCampaign,MTAHearings:PointsYouCanMake, NewYork(http://www.straphangers.org/farehike08/pointstomake.html) 11. Appleseed,ProposedRockawayandSoutheastBrooklynFerryLanding Sites:DemographicsandMarketAnalysis,PreparedfortheNewYorkCity EconomicDevelopmentCorporation(9/27/06) 12. SanFranciscoWaterTransitAuthority,WaterTransitAuthorityMarketing Plan,SubmittedbyJohnson|Ukropina,(May2005)1 13. MassachusettsBayTransportationAuthority,MBTAFY2009AnnualBudget Book,Section7,91. 14. TheLouisBergerGroup,RidershipandRevenueAnalysisforaProposed FerryServicetoLowerManhattan,DraftReport,submittedtotheLower ManhattanDevelopmentCorporation(June2006) 15. M. Wardman, Public Transport Values of Time, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, Working Paper 564, December 2001. 16. CambridgeSystematics,SouthAmboyFerryResearchStudy,FinalReport, PreparedfortheNewJerseyTransitCorporation(March2007)ES1 17. TheLouisBergerGroup,RidershipandRevenueAnalysisforaProposed FerryServicetoLowerManhattan,DraftReport,submittedtotheLower ManhattanDevelopmentCorporation(June2006)27 18. LarryMarks,TheEvolvingUseofTIFReview(Summer2005) (www.cdfa.net/cdfa/cdfaweb.nsf/.../$FILE/evolving_tif.pdf) 19. Chicago,NeigborhoodCapitalBudgetGroup (http://www.ncbg.org/tifs/tifs.htm)1RobertCervero,TransitBased HousingintheSanFranciscoBayArea:MarketProfilesandRentPremiums, TransportationQuarterly,Vol.50,No.3,pp.3347,1996 20. DeanH.GatzlaffandMarcT.Smith,TheImpactoftheMiamiMetrorailon theValueofResidencesNearStationLocations,LandEconomics,Vol.69,No. 1, 21. VladimirBajic,TheEffectsofaNewSubwayLineonHousingPricesin MetropolitanToronto,UrbanStudies,Vol.20,1983. 22. TheEffectofRailTransitonPropertyValues:ASummaryofStudies, ParsonsBrinckerhoff(Feb27,2001) 23. RoderickB.Diaz,ImpactsofRailTransitonPropertyValues,BoozAllen andHamiltonInc(2003)Foundat: www.reconnectingamerica.org/public/show/bestpractice162 24. NewYorkCityDepartmentofCityPlanning,Greenpoint/Williamsburg EnvironmentalImpactStatement,TransitandPedestrians,(2003)1733 Media: 1. Hirschon,Nicholas,FerryShortLived,DailyNews(February24,2010) 2. GaryPierrePierre,TravelingbyFerry,OnceCommoninNewYorkHarbor, MaybeAgain,TheNewYorkTimes,9/22/96 3. WilliamNeuman,SomeSubwaysFoundPackedPastCapacity,TheNew YorkTimes,(June26,2007)Accessed4/5/10

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

Websites: 1. PATHServiceMap: http://newyorkcity2005.web.infoseek.co.jp/information/maps/images/map s/pathmap.jpg, 2. NYWaterwaysFerryTerminalsite (http://www.nywaterway.com/FerryTerminals.aspx) 3. NYWaterwayswebsite(http://www.nywaterway.com/Home.aspx) 4. SeaStreaksite(http://www.seastreak.com/) 5. NYWaterwayssite(http://www.nywaterway.com/Home.aspx) 6. GoogleEarth 7. GoogleMaps 8. NJTransit,BusSchedules: http://www.njtransit.com/sf/sf_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=BusTo 9. NYCDepartmentofTransportationStatenIslandFerrywebsite (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/ferrybus/statfery.shtml)Accessed 5/5/10 10. SanFranciscoMUNIsite(http://www.sfmta.com/cms/home/sfmta.php) 11. AlamedaandOaklandFerry:http://www.eastbayferry.com/ 12. Larkspur,CAFerryhttp://www.goldengateferry.org/ 13. SausalitoandTiburonFerry,http://www.blueandgoldfleet.com/ 14. Vallejofromhttp://www.baylinkferry.com/ 15. MBTAWebsite:http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/rail/ 16. MBTABoatswebsite(http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/boats/) 17. WashingtonStateFerries(http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/schedule/) 18. KingsCountryMetro (http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/wfsc/waterfront_streetcar.html) 19. NYCTSubwaymap:http://www.mta.info/nyct/maps/submap.htm; 20. MTAExpressBushttp://www.mta.info/nyct/service/bus/qnsche.htm;MTA Metrocard;http://www.mta.info/metrocard/ 21. RockawayFerrywebsite(http://rockawayferry.com/) 83

4. ElizabethRoss,FedUpDriversSwitchtoFerriesTheChristianScience Monitor,Boston,MA(11/20/1990) 5. UmarCheema,NewFerryServiceWillBeginNextWeek,TheNewYork Times(May6,2008) 6. NicholasHishon,CitytoStopRockawayFerryinMarch,DailyNews, (February24,2010) 7. ElsaBrenner,ItHadtheSetting,NowitHastheHousing,TheNewYork Times,(March9,2008) 8. PatrickMcGeehan,FerrybetweenManhattanandYonkersisSettoStop, TheNewYorkTimes,Metro(December23,2009.) 9. MichaelM.Grynbaum,StandthatBlazedCabSharingPathHasEtiquetteAll ItsOwn,TheNewYorkTimes,(June18,2009)

OnlineDatabases: 1. AmericanCommunitySurvey,USCensus,20062008 2. NationalTransportationDatabase,FederalTransitAdministration 3. Hopstop.com

22. CouncilofDevelopmentFinanceAgencies (http://www.cdfa.net/cdfa/cdfaweb.nsf/ord.html?open&tag=TIF%20Case% 20Studies&start=26&count=25) 23. Wikipedia 24. Williamsburg,THEEDGE:http://www.williamsburgedge.com/availability 25. WashingtonStateFerriessite(http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/schedule/) Accessed4/17/10 26. KingsCountyMetrosite(http://metro.kingcounty.gov/)Accessed4/17/10 27. SoundTransitsite(http://www.soundtransit.org/)Accessed4/17/10 28. FareandHeadwayinformationobtainedfromWashingtonStateFerriessite (http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/schedule/)Accessed4/17/10 29. HeadwayandscheduleinformationfromMTAMetroNorthwebsite (http://www.mta.info/mnr/)andNJTransit (http://www.njtransit.com/hp/hp_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=HomePageTo )Accessed4/25/10

SpeechesandTestimony: 1. Quinn,Christine,StateoftheCityAddress,NewYork(February12,2008) 2. AlanOlmstead,(Speech,TheFutureofFerrysinNewYorkHarbor, TransportationResearchForumNYChapterLuncheon,3/4/10) 3. ChristopherJones,TestimonyofChristopherJonesbeforetheMetropolitan TransportationAuthorityHearingonProposedServiceChanges,Student Fares,andCrossingCharges,RegionalPlanAssociation(March2010) Books: 1. Cudahy,BrianJ.,OverandBack,FordamPressUniversity(NewYork)2 Documents: 1. NYCEconomicDevelopmentCorporation,BriefingDocument 2. PortAuthorityofNY/NJ,20092010WeekdayRidershipStatistics

UNDERSTANDINGTHECHALLENGESOFIMPLEMENTINGFERRYSERVICEINNEWYORK

List of Figures and Tables with Sources


Figures: 1. New York/ New Jersey Private Ferries; Source: Port Authority of New York / New Jersey, Compiled 6/1/2010 (Obtained from Amit Bhowmik at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey) NEED THE YEAR of publication and/or website address 2. Workers Commuting by Ferry in Select Census Block Groups; Source: The Louis Berger Group, Ridership and Revenue Analysis for a Proposed Ferry Service to Lower Manhattan, Draft Report, submitted to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (June 2006) 3. Demand for Travel into Manhattan's CBD; Source: New York City, PlaNYC 2030 Transportation Technical Report, (2007) On the web:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/planyc2030/html/plan/transportation.shtml

year of publication; weblink? 4. Subway Line Performance by Subway Line; Source: William Neuman, Some Subways Found Packed Past Capacity, The New York Times (June 26, 2007) 5. BART System Map; Source: Bay Area Rapid Transit http://www.bart.gov/stations/index.aspx (Accessed 6/12/10) weblink? Year? 6. Boston Ferry Routes; Source: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Washington State Ferries Map; Source: Washington State Department of Transportation 7. Destination of Manhattan Bound Commuters from Yonkers; Source: Appleseed, Proposed Rockaway and Southeast Brooklyn Ferry Landing Sites: Demographics and Market Analysis, Prepared for the New York City Economic Development Corporation (9/27/06) 8. Destination of Manhattan Bound Commuters from Haverstraw; Source: Appleseed Report (9/27/06) 9. Proposed TIF District in Greenpoint; Adapted from NYC Department of City Planning Environmental Impact Study for Williamsburg/Greenpoint (2003) 10. Proposed TIF District in Williamsburg; Adapted from NYC Department of City Planning Environmental Impact Study for Williamsburg/Greenpoint (2003) Tables: 1. Distance for Various NY/NJ Routes and Cost Per Mile; Source: All distances were measure using the Ruler tool on Google Earth; ticket cost information compiled from NY Waterway website (Accessed 5/2010) 2. Weather Protected Facilities and Standard Deviation of Ridership; For most NY Waterway/ Billy Bei sites, obtained by looking at picture on NY Waterway website (http://nywaterway.com/FerryTerminals.aspx) Accessed 5/2010; for Seastreak service to Highlands and Atlantic Highlands, obtained by calling Seastreak operator; for NYC stations including all East River, Rockaways and Brooklyn

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Army terminal, obtained by emailing contact at NY Water Taxi; for Yonkers and Haverstraw, obtained by emailing contacts at LMDC. 3. Characteristics for Selected San Francisco Ferry Routes; Source: For headway, frequency and sailing time, information obtained for Alameda and Oakland Ferry: http://www.eastbayferry.com/, Larkspur: http://www.goldengateferry.org/, Vallejo from http://www.baylinkferry.com/; Ridership projections from: Water Emergency Transportation Authority, Draft Final Transition Plan, Metropolitan Transportation Commission (June 18, 2009) 4. Ridership Characteristics for Planned WETA Ferry Routes; Sources: Ridership Projections and Expected Farebox Recovery, WETA Draft Final Transition Plane, 2009; Average AM/PM boat ridership derived by dividing the number of scheduled or expected trips per day by the projected daily ridership. 5. Population Characteristics of Rockaways Neighborhoods; Source: Appleseed Report (9/27/06) 6. Projected Operating Expenses for Different Ridership and Cost Scenarios; Source: Appleseed Report (9/27/06) 7. Operating Expense Estimates; Source: Appleseed Report (9/27/06) 8. Rockaways to Lower Manhattan Ridership by Month and Year; Source: Obtained from the NYC Economic Development Corporation 9. Population Characteristics for Yonkers to Lower Manhattan Target Market; Source: The Louis Berger Group Report (June 2006) 10. Estimated Revenue Projections for Yonkers Ferry; Source: The Louis Berger Group Report (June 2006) 11. Yonkers to Lower Manhattan Ridership Statistics; Source: Obtained from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 12. Trip Lengths for All Ferry Routes in Report; Measured on Google Earth using the Ruler tool 13. Expected Development in Proposed TIF District; Source: NYC Department of City Planning Greenpoint/Williamsburg Rezoning, Chapter 1 14. Potential Revenues from Williamsburg and Greenpoint TIF District 15. Business Plan for 10 Cent TIF per Square Foot; Prepared by researcher 16. Business Plan for 20 Cent TIF per Square Foot; Prepared by researcher