20 Car Vehicle Ferry

Private Entity, Draft – June 30, 2008

Introduction

The ferry was constructed in 2003 and carries about 18 to 20 vehicles1 and is certified to carry 150 passengers. It was designed to replace an older vessel which provided winter services during icy conditions. The vessel’s service speed fis approximately 8.5 knots.

The ferry has two passenger decks, with the main deck being the entry deck and having a mezzanine.

  • Main Deck – The main deck is about 104 feet long and 37 feet wide (approximately 3,900 square feet). Pedestrians and vehicles enter the ferry from either end of the main deck via two gangways2 depending on which vessel end is moored to the terminal. There are three full lanes for vehicles and a partial lane near the starboard side bow which holds around two vehicles. On the starboard side, a long narrow enclosed cabin contains 18 fixed seats and one wheelchair space. In addition, after the narrow cabin, another space holds a single user toilet room which is accessed by an exterior door facing the vehicle lanes. A covered stair connects the main deck mezzanine at the bow and an uncovered stair connects it at the stern.

figure20-1
Figure 1. Main Deck – Original Design

  • Main Deck Mezzanine Level - The main deck mezzanine is about 66 feet long and 10 feet wide (approximately 660 square feet). The level has an enclosed cabin which contains a small single user toilet room and fixed seating area with 17 seats and another 10 seats at three tables. At each end of the mezzanine deck, an uncovered exterior stair connects the upper deck (second deck).

figure20-2
Figure 2. Mezzanine Level – Original Design

  • Upper Deck – The (second) upper deck is about 43 feet long and 35 feet wide (approximately 1500 square feet) and is located above the after half of the main deck. Exterior fixed passenger seating for 120 is provided on this deck. A raised pilot house is located in the forward-center part of the deck and is only open to crew members. No covered passenger space is provided on the deck. On the starboard side, two uncovered stairs connect the main deck mezzanine.

figure20-3
Figure 3. (Second) Upper Deck – Original Design

Methodology

A representative of the Access Board reviewed the original designs of the vessel with a representative3 of the ferry to identify passenger features that would not meet the 2006 draft passenger vessel accessibility guidelines4. 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 a new vessel’s construction cost.

The ferry representative estimated it would cost approximately $3.75 million to $4 million to construct the ferry in 2006. The ferry representative estimated that the proposed new designs to meet the draft guidelines would add about $28,000 to the vessel’s construction costs, less than a 1 percent increase in cost. The new designs also would result in the loss of the mezzanine toilet room and one vehicle parking space, and is estimated to cause a loss of $43,000 to $72,000 in annual revenue. The costs are summarized below.

Actions taken on features in the original vessel designs to create new designs meeting the draft guidelines 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.

An action is identified as having a significant impact where the redesign of the feature 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. An action is identified as incurring an additional cost but not having a significant impact where a specific cost can be attributed to the redesign of a feature but it does not meet the criteria for a significant impact.

Actions That Have Significant Impacts

1. Vehicle Parking

The ferry is designed to carry 18 to 20 vehicles. Most of the fourth lane (starboard side) is occupied by the main deck structure which includes the seating cabin, two stairs, engine room access space, and toilet room, but has about 41 feet at the bow which is open for about two subcompact vehicles to park. To meet the requirements of the draft guidelines (discussed below in more detail), the structure on the fourth lane increased in length by about 15 feet (from about 56 to 71feet5), thereby, reducing the length of the parking space at the bow from 41 feet to about 26 feet (26 feet from bow to bottom of bow stair). This reduction caused the loss of about one vehicle parking space. Although some space is needed at the bottom of the bow stair, a car could overlap the stair landing when maneuvering into position within the 26 foot long space. The ferry representative indicated that when the vessel is 100% full, the odds are a smaller car would always be available to more easily maneuver into the 4th lane. When the vessel is not 100% full, the fourth lane will probably be left unoccupied.

Therefore, with the increase in the length of the main deck fourth lane structure, only one vehicle space on the vessel is lost. The ferry representative estimated this would reduce annually vehicle revenue by $23,000 to $38,000 and passenger revenue by $20,000 to $34,000 (passengers are charged separately), for a combined estimated annual revenue loss of $43,000 to $72,000.

The ferry representative evaluated whether to regain this lost vehicle space and revenue by lengthening the vessel 16 feet6 which would increase the cost of the new vessel by $226,000. Because of uncertainties over how the vessel would handle in winter icy conditions, if 16 feet were added, the ferry representative proposed to not increase the vessel length and take the revenue loss.

2. Transportation Seats

There are 18 interior passenger seats in the main deck cabin, 17 interior seats and 10 additional interior seats at three tables in the mezzanine cabin, and 120 exterior seats on the upper deck (second deck). One small wheelchair space is provided at the after end of main deck cabin.

The seating areas on this ferry would be classified by the draft guidelines as transportation seating areas. V106.5. As the vessel is certified to carry 150 passengers (although 165 fixed seats are provided in this ferry which includes 10 at tables), the draft guidelines require three wheelchair spaces to be provided. V222.3.1 Exception. Since vertical access is not provided from the main deck to the transportation seating areas on the mezzanine level and upper deck, the three wheelchair spaces must be placed in the main deck cabin, the only seating area on the entry deck. V222.3.3.

As the cabin is about seven feet wide and could not be made wider without impacting vehicle lanes one through three, the ferry representative proposed to increase the length of the cabin by two feet, for an overall length of about 24 feet, to provide the three wheelchair spaces and also maneuvering clearance for the forward door. Outside the footprint of the two door maneuvering clearances (forward and after cabin doors), along the outboard bulkhead (starboard side wall), five fixed seats are provided, two at the forward end of the cabin and three at the other end. Between the two groups of fixed seats, three (end to end) wheelchair spaces7 positioned parallel with the outboard bulkhead are proposed for the new designs. The seating originally provided along the inboard bulkhead (port side wall) is proposed to be removed to provide part of the forward door maneuvering clearance and an onboard accessible route running past the three wheelchair spaces. These changes reduced the number of fixed seats in the cabin from 18 to 5.

The ferry representative noted that the loss of interior seating in the main deck cabin is important because it is primarily used by people who cannot climb stairs (e.g., seniors), or people who prefer to not climb the stairs (e.g., families with small children), during the cold weather season to use the interior seating in the mezzanine cabin. To provide some additional seating, the ferry representative proposed to provide 10 fold-down seats (springed to keep the seat in an up position unless occupied) between the three wheelchair spaces and the outboard bulkhead. For passenger safety reasons, the ferry representative did not want to expand the width of the cabin and reduce the exterior pedestrian walkway which separates the cabin from vehicle lane number three and provides some overlap for larger vehicles.

figure20-4
Figure 4. Main Deck Passenger Cabin – Original and New Layouts

Due to the lack of space in the main deck cabin, the ferry representative proposed in the new designs (as in the original designs) to only have tables on the mezzanine level. The ferry representative noted that if the draft guidelines had required a table to be provided in the main deck cabin, the ferry representative would have removed all tables from the vessel due to seating limitations in the cabin and safety concerns about passengers using the table as a seat8.

With the lengthening of the main deck cabin, the stairs at both ends of the cabin/toilet room portion of the fourth lane structure are further separated by about two feet. To align the stairs with the mezzanine level stairs, the mezzanine is proposed to be lengthened. This lengthening, combined with the mezzanine toilet room being removed, provided extra mezzanine cabin space in the new designs which is proposed to be occupied by additional fixed seats to compensate for the main deck seating losses. This action on the mezzanine increased the seating to a total of 30 interior seats (10 of which are at three tables).

The upper deck (second deck) is proposed to remain at 120 seats, as in the original design.

Number of Fixed Seats (FS) and Wheelchair Spaces (WcS)

Seating Area

Main Deck Cabin

Mezzanine Cabin

2nd Deck Exterior

Total

Original Designs

18 FS and 1 WcS9

27 FS (10 seats at tables)

120 FS

165 FS and 1 WcS

New Designs

15 FS (10 are fold-down seats) and 3 WcS

30 FS (10 seats at tables)

120 FS

165 FS (10 fold-down) and 3 WcS

3. Stairs

Two exterior sets of stairs10 connect the main deck with the mezzanine level and the upper deck (second deck). The slope of the stairs is about 40 degrees, as allowed by the US Coast Guard. As vertical access is not provided to the mezzanine level or upper deck (second deck), the draft guidelines require the stairs to meet requirements which create a stair slope of about 32.5 degrees.11 V209 and V502.

The ferry representative proposed in the new designs to make the stairs conform to the draft guidelines which increased the length of each stair footprint from about 9 feet to over 12 feet. As the main deck cabin was also lengthened to hold three wheelchair spaces, this action pushed the two sets of stairs farther apart which required the mezzanine and upper deck to be lengthened to match up with the two sets of stairs. In addition, as a door maneuvering clearance is added to the exterior of the main deck forward cabin door, the stairs are further moved apart. These combined actions are estimated to increase the cost of the new designs by $38,700.12

Actions That Incur Additional Costs But Do Not Have Significant Impacts

4. Storage

The only passenger storage facilities provided in the ferry are life jacket storage facilities. The draft guidelines require one storage facility of each type to be accessible in each accessible space containing passenger storage facilities. V225.2. The ferry representative proposed to add three accessible life jacket storage facilities, one in the main deck cabin, one in the mezzanine cabin and one on the second/upper deck. Each accessible storage facility would hold 12 to 16 life jackets. This action is estimated to increase the cost of the new designs by $975.

5. Protruding Objects

The underside of the two stairs on the main deck could be considered part of circulation paths to persons with visual impairments. 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 in the new designs guardrails between the underside of the two stairs and the remainder of the main deck. This action is estimated to increase the cost of the new designs by $1,500.

Other Outcomes

6. Toilet Rooms

A single-user toilet room is provided on the main deck and a smaller one on the main deck mezzanine. The draft guidelines require both toilet rooms to be accessible. V213.2. The ferry representative proposed in the new designs to reconfigure the main deck toilet room to comply with the draft guidelines. This action (which is principally engineering design work) is estimated to increase the cost of the new designs by $400. Because the mezzanine toilet room is not a needed customer amenity and because the ferry representative thought it is illogical to make a toilet room on the mezzanine wheelchair accessible when no vertical access is required to the mezzanine, the ferry representative proposed to not provide the mezzanine toilet room. This action is estimated to reduce the cost of the new designs (which is principally due to reduced labor and material costs) by $13,400. These combined toilet room actions are estimated to reduce the cost of the new designs by $13,000.

7. Vertical Access to Main Deck Mezzanine and Upper Deck (Second Deck)

The ferry has two passenger decks13 with only the main deck being an entry deck. The draft guidelines do not require an elevator or other means of vertical access to connect the mezzanine level and upper deck (second deck).14 V206.2.1 Exception 1 and V206.2.2 Exception 2. Where vertical access is not provided in a vessel, certain amenities (e.g., seating area, drinking fountain, and toilet room) must be provided on the entry deck. V211.1.1, V213.1.1., etc. As no drinking fountain is provided on this vessel and as the main deck (entry deck) has a toilet room and seating area (in the main deck cabin), the draft guidelines regarding this issue require no action in the new designs.

8. Accessible Route on the Main Deck15

The vessel has two entry points located at each end of the main deck where the vessel gangways are provided. An unobstructed accessible route runs about 2/3 the length of the main deck but does not directly connect the entry points. The draft guidelines allow vehicle lanes to overlap onboard accessible routes and accessible means of escape. V403.1. Therefore, no change in the new designs is required.

figure20-5
Figure 5. Original Vessel - Main Deck Accessible Route

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

The ferry representative estimated the proposed changes to meet the draft guidelines would have an insignificant impact on vessel’s stability and fuel consumption.

Summary

The ferry representative estimated it would cost approximately $3.75 million to $4 million to construct the ferry in 2006. The ferry representative estimated that the proposed new designs to meet the draft guidelines would add about $28,000 to the vessel’s construction costs, less than a 1 percent increase in cost. The new designs also would result in the loss of the mezzanine toilet room and one vehicle parking space, and is estimated to cause a loss of $43,000 to $72,000 in annual revenue. The costs are summarized below.

Removing Mezzanine Toilet Room, and Reconfiguring Main Deck Toilet Room

(-$13,000)

Reducing Stairs Slopes and Cabin/Deck Lengthening

$38,700

Guardrails for the Undersides of Two Main Deck Stairs

$1,500

Three Accessible Life Jacket Storage Facilities

$975 ($325 each)

Total

$28,175

20 Car Vehicle Ferry Case Study - Private Entity
Attachment

After the December 5, 2007, draft was completed, it was decided that the top of the forward stair which connects the main deck to the mezzanine would probably not be considered open to the weather. Since this stair is part of an accessible means of escape and because it is not open to the weather, an area of temporary refuge would be required. V410.2. The other stairs are open to the weather so no additional areas of temporary refuge are required.

As the footprint of the mezzanine level and the size of the seating cabin had been increased in the new designs,16 the creation of an area of temporary refuge (ATR) at the top of the stair would have an insignificant impact in the new designs. From other case study information, it is estimated A-60 bulkheads would increase bulkhead costs by less than $1,000 and a mechanical ventilation system to pressurize the ATR17 would increase new design cost by $3,000.

Note: These costs have not been added to the case study report.

figure20-6


1 The 20 vehicle capacity is based on a car length of 15 feet and light (pick-up) truck length of 18 feet. Vehicles carried on the ferry range in size from less than 12 feet to 90 feet.

2 Gangway is defined in V106.5 as a variable-sloped pedestrian walkway which consists of one or more runs.

3 Although the report notes decisions made by the ferry representative, it should be noted that the Access Board hired a consultant (acceptable to the ferry representative) to provide most impact information (including cost estimates) which was used by the ferry representative in the case study decision making process.

4 2006 draft guidelines, as amended by Board action at the 2007 and April 2008 meetings.

5 About 6 feet of stair landing is provided at the after stair and is not included in the 56 and 71 feet value.

6 The fourth lane needs at least 16 more feet to be able to effectively park an additional vehicle. If 16 additional feet is added to lane four, lanes one through three would be increased by 16 feet. This action would have increased the carrying capacity of the ferry from 18-20 vehicles to 22-24 vehicles, and the impact on vessel stability and fuel consumption would be minimal (less than 700 gallons annually).

7 Because the two wheelchair spaces at the end of the row could be entered from a forward direction, those spaces are 36 inches wide by 48 inches long. As the middle wheelchair space must be entered from the side, its dimension is 36 inches by 60 inches long.

8 If a table is provided (aside from losing more than one fold-down seat), when the main deck cabin seating is in demand, the end of the table would be used as a bench (the sides being occupied by fold-down seats) creating an unsafe seating condition when the vessel is in motion.

9 The original wheelchair space was smaller than that required by the draft guidelines.

10 The stairs also function as components of two accessible means of escape required by V207 which connect the area of refuge located on the second/upper deck and connect the second/upper deck to the evacuation stations at the bow and stern of the vessel on the main deck. Sections V410.1.1, V410.1.2, and V410.2 do not require anything in addition to V209 and the accessible route requirements in V206.

11 A useable tread depth of 11 inches (not overlapped by a tread nosing) angled by a tread to tread rise of 7 inches equals a slope of approximately 32.5 degrees.

12 Estimate of $43,000 was provided, but it applied to the 4th lane structure which was about 76 feet long. With only 3 wheelchair spaces needed in the main deck cabin and two only had to be 4 feet long (vs 5 feet), the cabin structure impact was reduced in length which reduced the 4th lane structure to about 71 feet. As this is about a 10 percent reduction, $43,000 was reduced by 10 percent to $38,700.

13 A mezzanine is not a deck in the draft guidelines but is a change in level within a deck.

14 Although vertical access is not required to the mezzanine or second/upper deck, the exceptions do not remove the obligation to comply with the draft guidelines on these levels. For example, if a toilet room is provided on the mezzanine, it would still be required to comply.

15 Sufficient clearances exist on the mezzanine and second/upper deck for accessible routes required by V206.2.2.

16 The size of the seating area in the cabin was increased when the mezzanine toilet room was eliminated from the new designs, and the footprint of the mezzanine level was increased primarily due to the reduction in slope of the forward and stern stairs (per V209).

17 In an informal discussion with the US Coast Guard (USCG), it was determined the area of temporary refuge would probably need to be pressurized. This is because V411.4 requires the ATR to have at least the same level of fire and smoke protection as required by the USCG for an internal area of refuge, if an internal area of refuge was provided on the vessel. Since an internal area of refuge would probably need mechanical ventilation for smoke protection, the ATR would also probably need mechanical ventilation. The owner could have authorized in the new designs less of a covering for this stair landing to make the area at the top of the stair open to the weather, but was concerned about decreases in safety due to snow and ice build-up during the winter season.