40 Car Vehicle Ferry

Public Entity, Draft – June 30, 2008

Introduction

In 2006, the ferry was under construction and is designed to carry a maximum of 300 passengers and 40 vehicles.1

The ferry has two passenger decks.

  • Main Deck – The main deck is approximately 7,900 square feet. Pedestrians and vehicles enter the ferry from either end of the main deck. There are four lanes for vehicles. Between lanes 1 and 2, there are single-user toilet rooms for men and women; an emergency generator room; an enclosed stairway to the engine room; and two exterior stairways that connect to the second deck.

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Figure 1. Main Deck – Original Design

  • Second Deck – The second deck is approximately 1,250 square feet and is located over lane 1 and the structures on the main deck. There is an enclosed passenger lounge that has benches, tables, and a drinking fountain. There is also an open deck area that has benches. There are two exterior stairways that connect to the third deck that is for employees only and contains the pilot house.

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Figure 2. Second Deck – Original Design

The US Coast Guard does not require coamings on any passenger doors on the ferry.2

Methodology

A representative of the Access Board reviewed the original designs of the vessel with a representative of the ferry service to identify passenger features that would not meet the draft passenger vessel accessibility guidelines made available in 2006. The ferry representative proposed new designs for the passenger features that would meet the draft guidelines and estimated how much the new designs would add to the vessel’s construction cost. The ferry representative reported that the cost to construct the vessel was approximately $6 million in 2005 dollars. The ferry representative estimated the cost for constructing the vessel based on the original designs to be approximately $8 million in 2006 dollars. The ferry representative estimated that the platform lift and other proposed designs to meet the draft guidelines would add from $205,500 to $255,500 to the vessel’s construction costs, or a 2.6 to 3.2 percent increase. About 75 to 80 percent of the additional costs are attributed to the platform lift. Two to four fixed seats were lost on the second deck, and one wheelchair space and one drinking fountain were added.

Actions taken on features in the original vessel designs to create new designs meeting the draft guidelines3 for a new vessel are discussed below. The case study sought to identify actions that 1) have significant impacts, 2) incurred additional costs but did not have significant impacts, or 3) have other outcomes which should be noted.

A design is identified as having a significant impact where the design would add more than 0.5 percent to vessel’s construction costs; would substantially reduce the vessel’s usable space or necessitate an increase in the vessel’s size; or would present major operational issues. A design is identified as incurring an additional cost but not having a significant impact where a specific cost can be attributed to the design but it does not meet the criteria for a significant impact.

Designs That Have Significant Impacts

1. Access to Second Deck

On the second deck (1250 square feet in size), interior and exterior transportation seating areas are provided for passenger use. The draft guidelines require at least one transportation seating area to be on an entry deck or to be connected to an entry deck by an accessible route.4 V222.2. The draft guidelines permit a platform lift to be used in new construction to provide access to a deck that is less than 3000 square feet. V206.7.5. The ferry representative proposed to use a platform lift to provide access to the transportation seating areas on the second deck instead of locating a transportation seating area on the main deck.

The platform lift would be located near the men’s room between lanes 1 and 2 on the main deck. The platform lift would be positioned parallel with the width of the vessel and the door would open in the direction of lane 1. The stairway near the men’s toilet room would be moved approximately 12 feet toward the end of the vessel. The platform lift and new stairway location would not interfere with the vehicle lanes. The second deck surface would be increased approximately 33 square feet for the new stair landing. The ferry representative estimated a marine grade, custom made, stainless steel platform lift which is open to the weather and the additional deck surface would add from $150,000 to $200,000 to the vessel’s construction costs.

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Figure 3. Main Deck – Proposed Platform Lift Location

2. Main Deck Slope

The draft guidelines generally require deck surfaces to have slopes that do not exceed 2 percent unless the surface is the running slope of an accessible route. V 305.2. The ferry’s camber, or side to side slope, is 2.27 percent.5 The ferry representative reported that a camber exceeding 2 percent is not necessary for water drainage. The ferry representative estimated that it would cost $50,000 to design the main deck so that the slopes do not exceed 2 percent.6

Designs That Incur Additional Costs But Do Not Have Significant Impacts

3. Drinking Fountains

A drinking fountain is provided in the second deck cabin and mounted at standard height. Where a deck has a passenger drinking fountain, the draft guidelines require the deck to have at least one passenger drinking fountain mounted at a low position (for persons who use wheelchairs) and one mounted at a high position (for persons with difficulty bending or stooping). V211.2. At the wheelchair accessible drinking fountain, the draft guidelines require knee and toe clearance and a clear deck space positioned for a forward approach. V602.2. The ferry representative proposed in the new designs to use the standard height drinking fountain for meeting the needs of persons with difficulty bending or stooping, and installing a second drinking fountain for persons who use wheelchairs. To provide the clear deck space (30 inches by 48 inches), the seats near the drinking fountains were slightly moved in the new designs toward the center of the cabin. This move is estimated to have an insignificant impact of the use of the space. The ferry representative also estimated the additional drinking fountain and related plumbing work would add $1,000 to the vessel’s construction costs.7

4. Toilet Rooms

The draft guidelines require the men’s and women’s toilet rooms to be accessible.8 V213.2. The ferry representative proposed to reconfigure the toilet rooms and adjoining space to meet the draft guidelines. The engine room hatch and the wall near the air intake for the emergency generator would be moved to provide maneuvering clearance for the door to the men’s toilet room, and the door would open out toward the accessible route on lane 1. V404.2.4. The location of the water closet and the sink would be switched in each toilet room, and the sink would be recessed into the wall approximately 18 inches to eliminate the overlap in the clearance around the water closet.9 V604.3. Sufficient space is available for the proposed designs. In the women’s toilet room, the additional space is taken from a storage area located adjacent to the stairway to the engine room, and extends over a corner of the stairway. In the men’s toilet room, the additional space moves the platform lift location 18 to 24 inches toward the end of the vessel.

The ferry representative estimated that the proposed toilet room designs would add $1,500 to the vessel’s construction costs.

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Figure 4. Reconfigured Women’s and Men’s Toilet Rooms

5. Protruding Objects

There are four exterior stairways on passenger circulation paths on the main and second decks. The draft guidelines require guardrails or other barriers where the vertical clearance on passenger circulation paths is less than 80 inches high. V204.1 and V307.4. The ferry representative proposed to install guardrails under the four exterior stairways and estimated the guardrails would add $2,000 to the vessel’s construction costs.

6. Electrical Power, Fuel Consumption, and Vessel Stability Impacts

The ferry has two 92 KW generators that have sufficient excess capacity to supply the platform lift. The ferry also has a 72 KW emergency generator that has sufficient excess capacity to power the platform lift when used as an accessible means of escape.10 The ferry representative estimated that it would cost $1,000 to connect the platform lift to the emergency generator. The platform lift has a low electrical demand. The ferry representative expected the platform lift and other proposed designs to meet the draft guidelines would have minimal impact on vessel’s electrical power, fuel consumption, and stability.

Other Outcomes

7. Accessible Route Within Main Deck11

The draft guidelines require an accessible route to connect passenger entry points and accessible elements and spaces within a deck. V206.2.2 and V206.4. The main deck has sufficient space for an accessible route from the entry points at each end of the vessel to the stairways leading to the second deck without overlapping the vehicle lanes. The ferry representative proposed to locate part of the accessible route to the platform lift and the toilet rooms in lane 1.12 The accessible route would overlap lane 1 for approximately 60 feet. The draft guidelines do not prohibit vehicles from occupying the space containing the accessible route (and the accessible means of escape). V403.1. Therefore, no parking spaces were lost in order to provide the accessible route.13

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Figure 5. Main Deck – Proposed Accessible Route

8. Transportation Seating

There are 54 fixed seats on the second deck in two transportation seating areas. One area, the interior seats of the enclosed passenger lounge (cabin), contains 12 seats at two tables and 18 other seats not at tables. The second area is exterior and contains 24 bench seats located along the side of the lounge. Based on 54 transportation seats being provided, the draft guidelines require one wheelchair space. V222.3.1. Although the case study does not contain a specific outcome, the ferry representative could choose between at least three options for the new designs.

Options 1 and 2 - Place one wheelchair space at a table in the lounge which required the removal of four fixed seats,14 or locate it at a non-table seat which would require the removal of two seats.

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Figure 6. Options 1 and 2 – Proposed Wheelchair Space Location in Lounge (and Clear Deck Space at One Drinking Fountain)

Options 3 – Place the wheelchair space in the exterior bench seating area which would require the removal of seating for three passengers.

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Figure 7. Option 3 – Proposed Wheelchair Space Location Outside the Lounge (and Clear Deck Space at One Drinking Fountain in Lounge)

Therefore, to provide one wheelchair space, two to four seats would need removal, leaving 50 to 52 as the total number of fixed seats available. This action is estimated to have an insignificant impact on the new vessel’s construction costs and passenger seating needs.

Summary

The ferry representative estimated the cost for constructing the vessel based on the original designs to be approximately $8 million in 2006 dollars. The ferry representative estimated that the platform lift and other proposed designs to meet the draft guidelines would add from $205,500 to $255,500 to the vessel’s construction costs, or a 2.6 to 3.2 percent increase. About 75 to 80 percent of the additional costs are attributed to the platform lift. Two to four fixed seats were lost on the second deck and one wheelchair space and one drinking fountain were added. The cost estimates are summarized below in order of magnitude.

Platform Lift & Additional Deck Surface

$150,000 - $200,000

Main Deck Slope and Cross Slope

$50,000

Guardrails under Stairways

$2,000

Toilet Rooms

$1,500

Additional Drinking Fountain

$1,000

Connect Platform Lift to Emergency Generator

$1,000

Total

$205,500 - $255,500


1 The 40 vehicle capacity is based on a car length of 16 feet. Vehicles carried on the ferry range in size from less than 20 feet to 65 feet. Special permits are required for vehicles over 65 feet.

2 The draft guidelines require thresholds at doors without coamings to be ½ inch high maximum. V404.2.5.1. The case study assumes that this requirement would have minimal impact on new construction.

3 As amended by Board action at the 2007 and April 2008 meetings.

4 The draft guidelines do not require vessels that have two passenger decks to provide an accessible route between the decks unless both decks are entry decks. V206.2.1 Exception 1. But, do control the location of transportation seating areas. V222.2.

5 Where necessary to meet camber and sheer needs of the vessel, the draft guidelines permit deck surfaces to comply with the slope requirement to maximum extent feasible. V203.4.

6 The original designs for the ferry are based on “sister ship” designs. The estimate is for changing the “sister ship” designs.

7 The draft guidelines also require that where a drinking fountain is provided on decks not connected by an onboard accessible route to an entry deck (as permitted by the exceptions in V206.2.1), at least one passenger drinking fountain must be mounted at a low position (for persons who use wheelchairs) and one must be mounted at a high position (for persons with difficulty bending or stooping), and located on an entry deck or connected to an entry deck by an onboard accessible route. V211.1.1. As a platform lift connects the second deck, the drinking fountains on that deck are connected by an onboard accessible route to the main deck (the entry deck), and the requirement is satisfied.

8 If the single-user toilet rooms were not designated for men and women, the draft guidelines require only one of the toilet rooms to be accessible. V213.2 Exception 4.

9 The draft guidelines permit the rear grab bar at the water closet to be at least 24 inches (instead of 36 inches) long in this configuration. V604.5.2 Exception 1.

10 The draft guidelines require at least two accessible means of escape from the second deck to the life raft embarkation stations on the main deck based on US Coast Guard requirements for means of escape. V207.2. The draft guidelines require platform lifts to have emergency power when used as part of an accessible means of escape. V410.4. The exit stairways connecting the main and second decks can also be used as part of an accessible means of escape. V410.1.2(e). The draft guidelines do not establish any requirements for exterior exit stairways that are part of an accessible means of escape. V410.2 Exception 3.

11 The second deck has sufficient space for an accessible route to connect the accessible elements and spaces within the deck.

12 The ferry representative did not propose to locate part of the accessible route in lane 2 because heavier vehicles are positioned along the centerline of the vessel in lane 2.

13 It should be noted that outside the design, construction and alteration requirements of the draft guidelines, other ADA provisions in the regulations from DOT and DOJ may require vehicle lanes to remain open in certain areas to provide clear accessible routes and accessible means of escape for passengers with disabilities when the need arises.

14 As the wheelchair is approached from the side, it is required to be 60 inches long (and 36 inches wide). This length required a portion (two seats) of another lounge bench to be removed.