UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The potential of passenger ferries in an urban transit system Kopystynski, Adrian Danie


This thesis endeavours to explore the potential ridership and costs of a ferry service primarily oriented to commuters traveling between West Vancouver and the downtown core. Comparison of a Sea Bus type ferry service with an equivalent bus operation indicates that, the ferry would cost somewhat more, but this may be offset by environmental, social and land use externalities. The second conclusion is that transit policies designed to enhance the attractiveness of the ferry mode, to daily commuters can generate substantial ridership in the case study situation. Finally, it becomes clear that a preliminary policy analysis can be made based upon an inexpensive, short and approximate set of calculations. A review of the history of ferry service within Vancouver and other selected North American urban areas provides, insight into the factors affecting patronage and a basis for assessing the claims made by ferry and transit advocates. Five patronage-oriented policy principles derived from this analysis are applied to develop a hypothetical concept of commuter ferry operation in the case study area. This plan is evaluated using available cost, ridership and modal split data to contrast three alternative scenarios, at the same level of patronage in the morning peak journey to work movements across the Burrard Inlet; ferry crossings only, bus crossings only, and a mixed ferry and bus situation. In the case study area it appears that ferry transit is worthy of more detailed and definitive analysis. It is suggested that the same may be true of other North American metropolitan areas in which there are substantial commuting flows across major bodies of water.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.