Transportation planning is vital to selecting the right vessel and operating scenario for a ferry route or for optimizing a ferry transportation system. An effective transportation planning model should take into consideration vessel acquisition, operating costs, and traffic demand. Choosing the right measures of success can help ensure predictions meet expectations. The accuracy of a vessel cost analysis can be increased by incorporating knowledge of naval architecture, wave climatology, regulatory issues, seakeeping, and marine labor practices. Traffic demand analysis can be honed with an understanding of fare elasticity and service elasticity. Optimizing an entire system requires another level of planning to reduce the number of unique vessel designs and find optimum route structures to meet demand.
Authors: Benjamin B. Ackers, PE; Bruce L. Hutchison, PE; David W. Larsen, PE