Comprehensive Boston Harbor Water Transportation Study & Business Plan: Best Practices

Dec 01, 2017
  • Description

Boston Harbor Now (BHN) is coordinating a strategic planning study for water transportation, the Comprehensive Boston Water Transportation Study and Business Plan (the Comprehensive Plan). This work is being done on behalf of and with financial support from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), the Seaport Economic Council of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), the Barr Foundation, the Cabot Family Charitable Trust, Envoy Hotel, and Clippership Wharf. The aim of the work is to create the foundation for an expansion of the current water transportation system in Boston Harbor within a one- to five-year timeframe in order to accommodate current and future developments in the region and to enhance the use of the leisure and cultural amenities in Boston Harbor as well as providing an additional transit option for trips in the region.

This document is the third deliverable for the Comprehensive Plan. It focuses on the key characteristics of a ferry system that contribute to a successful service. This includes is a critical review of the strength and weaknesses of comparable ferry services with identified best practices and lessons learned for system implementation, organization, and operations with examples from systems in the continental United States as well as several systems from other countries. Five ferry systems are profiled in short case studies at the end of this document.

The document is structured to present the summary of these key characteristics of successful ferry services with healthy ridership, revenues, overall financial stability, and expanded transportation access, among other factors. A separate document prepared for the Water Transportation Strategy for the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park will outline best practices for serving island parks with ferries.

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