Washington, DC Commuter Ferry Service January 2013Noël P. Comeaux, AICP, PMP Maritime Administration U.S. Department of Transportation
Ferries & Water Taxis Both fall under the legal• Ferry: definition of a passenger • Defined in 46 USC 2102(10b). vessel or a small passenger • Normally runs between set points & vessel & require U.S. Coast on set schedules. Guard certification to carry 6 or more passengers for hire.• Water Taxi: • A small passenger vessel that can be used as a ferry or to final destination, as directed by a passenger (or the someone hiring the vessel). • Normally, water taxis are not large and run routes that are not economical for larger ferry operations.
Prior Studies Ferry Boat Feasibility Study • Virginia Department of Transportation • April 2000 Potomac River Commuter Ferry Service Study & Route Proving Exercise • Prince William County • September 2009
Existing Commuter Markets I-95 Corridor • Up to 300,000 AADT • Virginia Railway Express 20,000 Ridership Daily I-495/Woodrow Wilson Bridge • Up to 200,000 AADT Indian Head Highway • 25,000 AADT Anacostia Freeway • 75,000 AADT
Better Solution? Washington, DC Metro Area – #1 in Congestion • Urban Mobility Report, 2012 Walkability • Old Town Alexandria – Ferry to Work in DC • Southwest Waterfront Metro – short walk Energy • Liquefied Natural Gas – less emissions Transit Oriented Development • Prince William County - Occoquan Eligible for Commuter Benefits • Commuter ferry services are eligible for Federal benefits up to $125 monthly Emergency Evacuation • There is existing waterside infrastructure. • Public vessel capacity may be an issue.
Government Support Ferry Stakeholder Committee • Stakeholder Board US Coast Guard • Permitting/Vessel Certification (Safety Inspection) • Channel Buoy Maintenance National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration • Navigation Charts
Departmental Support Maritime Administration • Stakeholder Board • Marine Highway Corridor Recommendation M-495 Connector Federal Highway Administration • Ferry Grant Program Federal Transit Administration • Stakeholder Board
Stakeholder Committee Northern Virginia Regional Commission • Federal Maritime Administration US Joint Forces Command – DC General Services Administration • Maryland Highway Administration (Port) • Maryland Tri-County for S. Maryland Prince Georges County Charles County Town of Indian Head National Harbor
Stakeholder Committee (Cont.) Commonwealth of Virginia: • Virginia Office of Intermodal Planning & Investment • Dept. of Rail and Public Transportation • City of Alexandria • Fairfax County • Arlington County • Prince William County • Town of Quantico • Marine Corps Base Quantico • MWAA Airports Authority
Ridership Study Purposes: • “…for a regional high-speed commuter ferry service between selected origin and destination locations on the Occoquan, Potomac, and Anacostia Rivers.” • “…regarding the future of commuter ferry passenger transportation in the National Capital Region (NCR),…. …especially in light of the military market encompassing the BRAC adjustments.” • “Commuter ferry service is intended to supplement, not compete with, existing transit services, including Virginia Railway Express (VRE), METRO and local and long-distance commuter bus service.”
Ridership Study (Cont.) Scope of Work (Tasks): 1. Stakeholder Outreach Statistically-significant survey to gauge the interests and concerns of key stakeholders Stakeholder Meetings 2. Develop Criteria & Methodology for Selection of Sites 3. Market Analysis to Determine Demand for Service 4. Preliminary Service Model 5. Submit Draft and Final Reports/Presentations
Impediments & Solutions Impediments Solutions • Fuel Access: • Fuel Access: Liquefied Natural Gas Immediate Solution - Clean Diesel? • Navigation: • Navigation: 1980s laws Wake Waiver DC is not a commercial port Wave attenuators DC - No Wake Zone New Low-Wake Boat 10” @ 100’ from boat • Sea trials starting soon • Transit Connection: • Transit Connection: Bus Services Metrorail/bus – next train Metrorail connection Private Phone Apps – next ferry • Competing North-South • More Congestion! Drive Time • I-95 / VRE • Dredging: • Cost Built into Service Reagan Airport Agreement Ft. Belvoir Pentagon • Funding • Less Expensive than Additional Lane-Miles (New / To Maintain) • 2013: >$14.5 million / lane-mile
More Impediments & Solutions Impediments Solutions • Much of the shoreline in • Cooperation: control of Military/DOD or • Where facilities make sense Dept. of Interior, National Parks, and private hands. Makes development of waterfront infrastructure very difficult and limited to few locations along the river. • Current predominant • Beginning to change, but only development pattern ignores time and rediscovery of the the waterfront. waterfront will tell. There are exceptions, but • National Harbor, The Wharf, and significant density of residents The Yards and jobs immediately adjacent to the water is limited.
Marine Highway Program Energy Independence and Security Act, 2007 • Reduce congestion, lower emissions, less energy… US Coast Guard Authorization (112th Congress, H.R. 2838) • To expand the program from congested corridors to promoting short sea shipping Freight and passenger Hence, Revised Final Rule in 2013 • Stemming from H.R. 2838 • Expected timeframe: Winter 2013
Your Departmental Support Maritime Administration • Noël P. Comeaux, AICP, PMP 202-366-5527 • Seneca Sok 202-366-6639 Federal Highway Administration • Tony DeSimone 317-226-5307 Federal Transit Administration • Jeffrey Spencer 202-366-0550 • Charlene Wilder 202-366-1077