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									                                                     Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report




                                     Table of Contents

Section     Title                                                                                                          Page

  ES        Executive Summary ...................................................................................... ES-1
               Markets for Ferry Services ........................................................................ ES-2
               Potential Services and Routes .................................................................. ES-2
               Passenger Ferryboat Characteristics ........................................................ ES-3
               Berthing and Terminal Characteristics ...................................................... ES-3
               Ferry Service Operators ............................................................................ ES-5
               Environmental Impacts .............................................................................. ES-5
               Economic Analysis .................................................................................... ES-5
               Potential Funding Sources ........................................................................ ES-7
               Recommended Ferry Services .................................................................. ES-7

   1        Introduction ......................................................................................................1-1
                Purpose ........................................................................................................1-1
                Background ..................................................................................................1-1
                Report Organization .....................................................................................1-1

   2        Development and Evaluation of Alternatives ................................................2-1
               Ridership Market ..........................................................................................2-1
               Ridership Estimation and Forecasts.............................................................2-2
               Potential Ferry Routes..................................................................................2-3
               Potential Ferry Service Operators ................................................................2-7

   3        Ferryboat Characteristics ................................................................................3-1
               Navigational Constraints...............................................................................3-1
               Ferryboat Types ...........................................................................................3-1
               Regulatory Requirements.............................................................................3-3

   4        Berthing and Terminal Characteristics ..........................................................4-1
               Site Selection Criteria for Potential Terminal Sites.......................................4-1
               Terminal Site Considerations .......................................................................4-3
               Logistics and Out-of-Service Berthing ..........................................................4-9

   5        Environmental Review .....................................................................................5-1
               Ferry Operations...........................................................................................5-1
               Terminal Operations .....................................................................................5-2
               Marine Life....................................................................................................5-2

   6        Economic Analysis ..........................................................................................6-1
               Capital Costs ................................................................................................6-1
               Operating Costs............................................................................................6-3
               Associated Costs..........................................................................................6-7




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   7         Ferry Recommendations – Initial Service ......................................................7-1
                Ferry Services ..............................................................................................7-1
                Ferryboats ....................................................................................................7-1
                Terminals......................................................................................................7-1
                Costs ............................................................................................................7-1
                Estimated Revenues ....................................................................................7-3
                Potential Annual Deficit ................................................................................7-3
                Potential Funding Sources ...........................................................................7-3

APPENDICES

Appendix A        Request for Expressions of Interest to Operate a Potential New
                     Passenger Ferry Service on Mobile Bay
Appendix B        Terminal Site Evaluation
Appendix C        Wake Wash Issues on Mobile Bay
Appendix D        U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Letter of April 29, 2004
Appendix E        Potential Weekday and Weekend/Holiday Schedules




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                                          List of Figures
Figure      Title                                                                                                          Page

  ES.1      Potential Passenger Ferry Routes and Terminals........................................... ES-4

  2.1       Potential Passenger Ferry Routes .....................................................................2-4
  2.2       One-way Voyage Time (minutes) for Mobile-Fairhope (Long Pier) Route .........2-5

  4.1       Proposed Ferry Terminal – Fairhope..................................................................4-4
  4.2       Proposed Ferry Terminal – Gulf Shores.............................................................4-5
  4.3       Proposed Ferry Terminal – Point Clear ..............................................................4-6
  4.4       Proposed Ferry Terminal – Fowl River...............................................................4-7
  4.5       Proposed Ferry Terminal – Daphne ...................................................................4-8



                                           List of Tables
Table       Title                                                                                                          Page

  ES.1      Estimated Capital Costs for Initial Mobile-Fairhope Ferry Service .................. ES-6
  ES.2      Estimated Annual Operating Statement for Initial Mobile-Fairhope
                Ferry Service ............................................................................................. ES-6

  2.1       Survey Summary – Interest in Ferry Service......................................................2-2
  2.2       Mileages and Voyage Durations for Selected One-way Voyages on
                Mobile Bay....................................................................................................2-5
  2.3       Estimated Automobile Travel Times Between Selected Locations ....................2-6
  2.4       Comparison of Automobile Trip Times and Ferry Voyage Times
                Between Selected Mobile Bay Locations .....................................................2-6

  4.1       Potential Ferry Terminal Site Evaluation ............................................................4-2

  6.1       Estimated Capital Costs for Selected Ferryboats and Hovercraft ......................6-1
  6.2       Estimated Costs of Ferry Terminals by Location................................................6-2
  6.3       Estimated Capital Costs for Terminals, Ferryboats, and Fairhope
                Shuttle (current dollars) ................................................................................6-2
  6.4       Estimated Wage Cost Input for Ferryboat Crews ...............................................6-4
  6.5       Fuel Consumption at Operating Speed for Selected Ferryboats and a
                Hovercraft Ferry (gallons per hour) ..............................................................6-4
  6.6       Average Operating Costs per Hour for Selected Ferryboats..............................6-6
  6.7       Operating Cost per Passenger-Mile at Different Capacity Utilization Levels......6-7

  7.1       Estimated Capital Costs for Initial Mobile-Fairhope Ferry Service .....................7-2
  7.2       Estimated Annual Operating Statement for Initial Mobile-Fairhope Ferry
                Service..........................................................................................................7-2




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  E xecutive Summary
In mid-2004, the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission (SARPC), on behalf of the City
of Mobile, commissioned a study to evaluate potential expansion of regional connectivity
between Mobile County and Baldwin County. The specific study purpose was to assess the
feasibility for passenger ferry service on Mobile Bay and a transit connection between
downtown Mobile and the regional airport. Day Wilburn Associates, Inc. (DWA), the consultant
retained for the study, worked closely with SARPC staff and a Study Advisory Committee which
was formed to provide guidance on recommendations and products. Membership on the
committee included representatives from SARPC, the City of Mobile, Metro Transit, Mobile
County, Baldwin County, Baldwin Area Rural Transportation System (BRATS), City of Fairhope,
Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Mobile Regional Airport, Alabama Department of
Transportation, and Alabama State Docks.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Mobile County’s population increased by 5.6 percent from
1990 to 2000, and Baldwin County’s increased by 42.9 percent. This strong area population
growth, expansion of area tourism, and inauguration of the new Mobile cruise ship terminal will
correspondingly increase demand on the Mobile/Baldwin transportation system. Additional work,
social, shopping, and visitor trips will be made, and it is becoming more difficult to effectively
meet this demand through expansion of the roadway network. As no alternative transportation
modes currently link Mobile and Baldwin Counties, there is significant growing demand on the
regional transportation system. The study identified specific passenger ferry and transit
connection options which would offer unique and innovative alternatives to the relatively long
and circuitous highway routes within the Mobile Bay area, as well as establish a direct link
between numerous regional activity centers. Potential regional benefits which could result from
implementation of these new transportation services include enhancing the existing
transportation system, stimulating economic development, reducing environmental impacts, and
offering additional mobility options for area residents and visitors.

The passenger ferry service study element addressed implications for establishing passenger
ferry service on Mobile Bay between downtown Mobile and prospective eastern and western
shore locations. The study considered potential ridership markets, routes, types and sizes of
ferryboats, and terminals best suited to this operation. The analyses addressed the following
specific areas:

    •   Markets for ferry service
    •   Potential ferry services and routes
    •   Passenger ferryboat characteristics
    •   Berthing and terminal characteristics
    •   Ferry service operators
    •   Potential environmental impacts
    •   Economic analysis
    •   Potential funding sources




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Markets for Ferry Services

The customer base of passenger ferry service on Mobile Bay includes commuter trips to and
from Mobile employment centers, reverse commute trips from Mobile primarily to eastern shore
(Baldwin County) destinations, casual local users, and area visitors seeking either destination
specific attractions or sightseeing opportunities. The study identified likely trip destinations, as
well as ferry service hours and frequencies targeted to serving those markets.

Several methods were used to estimate ferry ridership. General public, employee, and
employer interest in using passenger ferry service was estimated through a series of surveys.
An expanded Mobile urbanized study area travel demand model was developed and used to
estimate future passenger ferry trips. Because ferry service is unfamiliar to most current Mobile
area travelers, the transportation model can only provide preliminary estimates. The study
estimated a three percent market share for the ferry service. This estimate also reflected
reported experience from ferry service operations in other parts of the nation. The 2001 Mobile
Downtown Transportation Plan projected anticipated ferry ridership for the new service.
Although it used a different methodology, the plan projected approximately the same ridership.

This study estimated 600 daily one-way passenger trips by the end of the first year of service.
Creating a seamless multimodal connection at each ferry terminal end is required for optimal
implementation. This would include coordination with Mobile and Eastern Shore public and
private transportation providers.

Potential Ferry Services and Routes

Potential routes were carefully considered to take advantage of likely customer markets,
concentrations of households, jobs or attractions, potential terminal sites, and connecting
transportation modes. Comparison of travel times for water and auto modes was an important
factor in assessing customer attraction to ferry services. Water voyage times included time at
the dock, docking and undocking, and travel in restricted and unrestricted waterways.

Weighing key factors, including potential customer markets and ferry operating speeds,
indicated that initial services should be implemented between Mobile and Fairhope, followed by
limited services to/from Gulf Shores and Point Clear. It is anticipated that, during the first year,
the Mobile-Fairhope ferry service would provide 17 to 19 round-trips each weekday, operating
between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM, including nine to eleven peak period round-trips. On
Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, 11 round-trips would be provided between 7:00 AM and 8:00
PM. Other routes and/or services would be added as market awareness, ridership potential,
ferryboat capacity, and terminal facilities allow. The potential ferry routes are shown in Figure
ES.1.

State and local agency regulations must also be considered in establishing a ferry service. The
state port authority and local jurisdictions can establish speed limits over selected waters.
Public agencies have authority over public lands that can be used for terminals. State coastal
zone management and environmental agencies regulate air, water, land, noise, and other
ecological impacts potentially stemming from construction and use of shoreline property.




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A separate document, the Passenger Ferry Concept and Implementation Plan, presents various
organizational/operations approaches and jurisdictional roles.    There are a number of
passenger ferryboat operators with credentials, experience, and interest in operating ferry
services. The study identified nine potential companies, which were then invited to submit an
expression of interest in the proposed service. Four of the nine companies submitted
statements of interest and qualifications.

Passenger Ferryboat Characteristics

Careful consideration was given to recommending appropriate ferryboats for service. Ferryboat
passenger capacity, operating speeds, cost, and operating characteristics were considered.
Ferries can be built from either an existing or a new design, each with its own benefits and
drawbacks. Selection of the ferryboat should take into account the U.S. Coast Guard’s
regulatory standards for vessel classes. The design of choice should provide the desired
combination of performance, attributes, and features while meeting U.S. Coast Guard
requirements. Another factor to be considered in making a final selection on the type of
ferryboat is the flexibility for use in other types of operations that could increase system revenue
and reduce operating deficit. For example, ferryboats often are used for harbor or bay cruises
during non-peak hours and some ferryboats are also chartered for private functions.

Five different types of ferryboats utilizing a range of technologies were considered, including
hovercraft. The ferryboat recommended for service has a catamaran hull, is capable of
operating at 40 knots, has low wake characteristics, and a capacity for approximately 75
passengers.

Berthing and Terminal Characteristics

Selection of berthing and terminal sites from among 13 waterfront candidate sites, including ten
located on Mobile Bay’s eastern shore, was based on:

    •   Potential ridership (distribution of trip generation, trip type)
    •   Waterside access (water depths, ease of navigation, usefulness of existing piers)
    •   Upland access (convenient parking, proximity to trip generators)
    •   Multimodal access (access to local bus, van, parking, sidewalks)
    •   Other considerations (environmental impacts, land use conflicts)




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                        Figure ES.1
             Potential Passenger Ferry Routes




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The berthing and terminal selection process identified five high scoring locations as potential
terminal sites. These included Municipal (Long) Pier in Fairhope, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at
the SR 59 Bridge in Gulf Shores, the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Fowl River at the SR 193
Bridge in Mon Louis (Mobile County), and Bayfront Park in Daphne. The Mobile Landing
location near Cooper Park in Mobile was not included in the evaluation since that site was
specifically selected and built to serve potential passenger ferry operations. As previously
mentioned, the Fairhope site was selected for initial development along with a terminal in Gulf
Shores. Limited service to Point Clear would initially utilize existing terminal facilities.

Maintaining ferry equipment will require a separate location suitable for accomplishing daily
maintenance, running maintenance requirements, and performing shipyard/boatyard projects.
Ferry maintenance should be separate from passenger terminals yet close to Mobile Landing.
For the service start-up, a temporary location at an existing facility will be sufficient. Eventually,
a dedicated site for a permanent maintenance facility will be needed. Two potential sites were
considered: the Alabama State Docks property on the Three Mile Creek/Industrial Canal and the
Alabama Department of Transportation property on the eastern side of the Mobile River over the
I-10 tunnel. It is also possible that a local repair shipyard or boatyard might have berthing space
available, particularly while other longer term arrangements are made.

Ferry Service Operators

There are a number of commercial passenger ferryboat operators with credentials, experience,
and interest in operating ferry services. The study identified nine potential companies, who
were then invited to submit an expression of interest in the proposed service. Four of the nine
companies submitted statements of interest and qualifications.

Environmental Impacts

Environmental sensitivity is a national, state, and local priority, and public services should reflect
those goals. Protecting the environment has been integrated into recommendations for ferry
service development, implementation, and daily operations. The study considered potential
environmental impacts from ferry operations and terminal activities. Preventing potential spills
of fuel, lube oil, and other wastes from ferryboats will need to be a continuous part of operations
precautions. Wake wash can impact beach property, boats, and structures; therefore, mitigation
of wake wash should be part of the ferryboat design and operational procedures. In addition,
well-designed mufflers installed during ferryboat construction will greatly assist in noise
suppression. A formal review of potential environmental impacts will be needed during the
implementation phase for the new service.

Economic Analysis

Capital and operating costs of new service are an important part of a feasibility study. The cost
of a ferryboat will vary with the technology, passenger capacity, and speed. Costs range from
$300,000 for a monohull aluminum Zodiac with a 24-passenger capacity and 25 knots operating
speed to $3,900,000 for an aluminum-hulled catamaran that carries 149 passengers and travels
at 33 knots. The recommended ferryboat is a 75-passenger catamaran with an estimated cost
of $2,200,000.




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The cost of building new terminals or modifying an existing terminal will also vary widely. The
initial service will require three terminals: at Mobile Landing, Fairhope’s Long Pier and in Gulf
Shores on the south side of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway just east of the SR 59 Bridge. The
Mobile Landing ferry terminal will be constructed as part of another project. The cost for
constructing the terminals is estimated to be $497,000 for Fairhope and $374,000 for Gulf
Shores. The total capital cost for the Fairhope and Gulf Shores terminals during the initial
phase is estimated to total $871,000. While not required to operate the initial Mobile-Fairhope
service, placement of the third terminal in Gulf Shores would allow limited service to be initiated
with the Mobile-Fairhope service. Development of the limited Gulf Shores and Point Clear
services would be contingent on fleet capacity, availability of operating service hours, market
demand, and funding. Estimated capital costs for terminals, ferryboats, and a transit vehicle are
summarized in Table ES.1.

                                         Table ES.1
               Estimated Capital Costs for Initial Mobile-Fairhope Ferry Service

            Category                                Three-boat Fleet Two-boat Fleet
            Terminal, Ferryboat, and Vehicle Cost      $7,600,000         $5,400,000
            Less 80% Federal Grants                    $6,100,000         $4,300,000
            Other Sources                              $1,500,000         $1,100,000

Operating costs include labor, ferryboat and terminal crews, and onshore support. Staffing of
the ferry operations will depend on the size of the ferryboats used for service and U.S. Coast
Guard requirements. Fuel and lube oil, insurance, and maintenance costs are also part of the
operating expenses. Estimated operating costs vary depending on the type of craft used for
service and range from $56.10 to $241.00 per hour. Hourly operating costs for catamaran
vessels vary from $67.00 for 34-passenger capacity to $241.00 for 149-passenger capacity.
The recommended ferryboat has an operating cost of $150.00 per hour.

As shown in Table ES.2, preliminary analysis indicated that an annual operating deficit of about
$505,000 would occur for the Mobile-Fairhope service operated with three ferryboats. Revenue,
based on $4.50 to $6.00 one-way fares, would be about $1.0 million while operating expenses
would be $1.5 million.

                                     Table ES.2
     Estimated Annual Operating Statement for Initial Mobile-Fairhope Ferry Service

                 Category                  Three-boat Fleet         Two-boat Fleet
                 Income                         $995,000              $767,000
                 Operating Expenses           $1,500,000             $1,234,000
                 Operating Deficit             ($505,000)            ($467,000)
                 Source: IBJ Associates

The Passenger Ferry Concept and Implementation Plan presents additional detail regarding
opportunities for expanding revenues and reducing deficits during initial operating years.



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Tailored service operating plans, focused marketing outreach activities, and public-private
partnerships are elements to be considered.

Potential Funding Sources

A number of potential funding sources that could be used in combination with ferry system
revenues and local and state funds to finance capital and operating costs were considered. The
most commonly used sources for ferry capital and operations are the Federal Highway
Administration and Federal Transit Administration. There are also commercial loans, federal
loan guarantees, and the U.S. Maritime Administration’s Federal Ship Financing Program (Title
XI), which guarantees private sector debt financing for U.S. built ferries.

In Alabama, local governments use property, gasoline, sales, and other taxes to supplement
transportation expenses. Municipal governments may adopt local option sales taxes by
ordinance, and counties must obtain legislative authorization for adoption of a sales tax. As
new transit services such as ferry routes are implemented, a source of dedicated local funds
must be established. A potential source would be to provide a dedicated funding source
through an increase in the lodgings tax in the City of Mobile and Baldwin County or other ferry
terminal cities. A one percent increase in the City of Mobile’s lodging tax would generate
approximately $500,000 per year. A one-half percent increase in Baldwin County’s lodging tax
could generate nearly $1,000,000 per year.

If it is more desirable to use property tax revenues, the current tax rate impact of sample
$100,000 contributions for each jurisdiction affected calculates to tax rate increases from 7.0 to
7.069 mills for the City of Mobile, 16.0 to 16.032 mills for Mobile County, 15.0 to 15.626 mills for
the City of Fairhope, and 5.0 to 5.307 mills for the City of Gulf Shores.

Recommended Ferry Services

   •   Initiate daily ferry service between Mobile and Fairhope, primarily to carry Baldwin
       County residents who commute to work in Mobile. On weekdays, sailings every 30
       minutes are recommended during peak commuter hours. Less frequent sailings would
       be provided at other hours. Limited service would also be initiated between Mobile, Gulf
       Shores, and Point Clear using excess ferryboat capacity during off-peak hours, on
       weekends, and during the summer months. If sufficient demand develops, one or more
       additional ferryboats could be added to the fleet to provide service on these routes.

   •   Initially construct three passenger ferry terminals, one at Mobile Landing adjacent to the
       cruise ship berth, and the other two in Baldwin County at Fairhope’s Long Pier and in
       Gulf Shores on the south side of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway adjacent to the SR 59
       Bridge.

   •   The Gulf Shores terminal would allow limited service to be initiated between Mobile and
       Gulf Shores using excess ferryboat capacity during off-peak hours, on weekends, and
       during the summer months. If sufficient demand develops, one or more additional
       ferryboats could be added to the fleet to provide limited service on this route and to an
       existing facility in Point Clear.




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   •   Provide parking facilities at or near the terminals and then implement intermodal
       connections with public or private bus or van services.

   •   Procure three high-speed (40-knot) catamaran ferryboats to initiate scheduled service
       between Mobile and Fairhope. The ferryboats should have the following approximate
       capacity and characteristics: 75-passenger capacity, draft of less than five feet, and a
       low-wake hull. Service could be initiated with chartered or used ferryboats if boats with
       acceptable features were available. While service between Mobile and Fairhope could
       be initiated with two ferryboats, only limited capacity would be available to operate
       selected trips to Gulf Shores/Point Clear and to test other routes.

   •   Limitations on ferryboat wakes were examined during the study. It was determined that
       ferryboats could be designed that would not likely exceed the wake characteristics of
       boats and ships currently operating in Mobile Bay. However, realizing that a low-wake
       boat design will be important for operations in the Bay, such a design will also need to
       be carefully balanced with operating speed capability.

   •   Develop an intergovernmental arrangement such as a regional coordination council to
       coordinate the new service and provide a financial mechanism to obtain federal and
       other funding and to cover operating deficits with local subsidies.

   •   Finalize fare structure and local option revenue sources that will effectively fund the
       system.

   •   Contract for an experienced passenger ferryboat operator to manage, operate, and
       maintain the ferry service.

   •   Utilize recommended mitigation techniques to address potential environmental impacts.

   •   Give consideration to phased development of additional terminals at Point Clear, Fowl
       River, and Daphne after future passenger traffic analyses and trial runs indicate that they
       are justified.




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  1 Introduction
Purpose

This summary report documents the results of a study to assess how best to re-establish
passenger ferry services on Mobile Bay. The study included determining what type of ferry
service would be appropriate for operation on Mobile Bay and a plan and schedule for
implementation. Ferry operating parameters, potential terminals and berthing, routing, cost,
funding, and environmental considerations were covered and impacts weighed. Preliminary
ridership estimates were developed using technical tools and qualitative methods. The study
relied on several surveys to determine public sentiment and openness to using ferry
transportation. This information, combined with transit experience and transportation demand
model results, provided the information needed to report on ferry service operations and
implementation.

Background

Ferry service is not new to Mobile Bay. Prior to the June 1927 opening of the Cochrane Bridge
or “causeway “ (US Highways 31, 90, and 98), travel across Mobile Bay between locations in
Mobile and Baldwin Counties was primarily provided by boat. Regular ferry or bay boat routes
were operated between Mobile and many small communities along the eastern shore. In
addition, boats provided excursion trips on the Bay. Dating from the earliest days of the City,
the Bay boats transported freight, passengers, and automobiles and were an important service
for many years.

Evaluating passenger ferry services is one part of a larger regional transportation planning
vision for the Mobile area. The City of Mobile is in the process of establishing a regionally
connected, multimodal transportation system to implement that vision. The redevelopment of
the historic GM&O Center was recently completed. The new Maritime Center is under
construction, and a cruise ship terminal is now in development adjacent to the Maritime Center.
Metro Transit services have recently been revised and streamlined, and the Moda! downtown
circulator service will be extended to serve the Maritime Center. The Baldwin Rural Area
Transportation System (BRATS) currently operates demand response service in Baldwin
County and continues to review new service opportunities.

Report Organization

This report is organized into seven sections plus appendices. Section 1 provides a generalized
overview of the study’s background and activities. Section 2 summarizes the development and
evaluation of ferry alternatives, including the identification of ridership, routes, and operational
characteristics. Section 3 discusses ferry characteristics most appropriate for Mobile Bay
service, including navigational constraints, ferryboat characteristics, and regulatory
considerations.     Section 4 describes the evaluation of terminal sites and berthing
considerations. Section 5 summarizes the environmental considerations for ferry and terminal
operations. Section 6 presents an economic analysis, including operating and capital costs of
establishing passenger ferry services. The report concludes in Section 7 with recommendations
and phasing for establishing ferry services on Mobile Bay.




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  2 Development and Evaluation of Alternatives
Essential to determining the feasibility of ferry operations are identification of:

   •   Who will ride the ferry?
   •   How many people will ride the ferry?
   •   Where is the greatest demand for ferry services?
   •   Which routes have the most potential for success?
   •   Who will operate the ferry?

Ridership Market

Mobile Bay passenger ferry service is envisioned as an integral and economically sustainable
component of the area’s transportation system. A ferry service based on commuter demand,
but which also provides services that attract non-commuters, was considered to offer the
greatest potential. Because the population of Baldwin County is increasing even more rapidly
than that of Mobile County, the demand for commuter transportation is likely to increase
between these areas. The study also addressed the characteristics and connectivity of
overland and waterborne transport.

Five surveys were conducted during the study to help understand travel patterns and trip
characteristics in the study area. The surveys targeted different segments of Mobile area
travelers to gain the broadest understanding of area travel. The roadside survey was conducted
in the I-10 corridor at four Baldwin County interchange locations. A total of 7,271 postcards
were distributed at US 31, US 98, SR 181, and SR 59; 26 percent of the surveys were returned.
The employee and employer surveys were conducted in downtown Mobile and along the airport
corridor. A total of 687 employee surveys were returned, and 14 employers completed surveys
on behalf of their employees. The visitor survey used an on-site intercept form at visitor center
locations in Fairhope, Fort Conde, Grand Bay, Adams Mark, Gulf Shores, Baldwin County, and
Orange Beach, as well as at Battleship Park. Surveys were received from 80 visitors. The
airport survey was conducted through interviews, and 216 surveys were completed.

Two questions were included on each of the surveys to gauge interest in new ferry and transit
services in the Mobile area. One question asked about interest in using a ferry service between
downtown Mobile and other eastern shore Mobile Bay locations. The second asked about
interest in using rapid transit service between downtown Mobile and the Regional Airport.
Responses varied depending on the target group, but in both instances, visitors had the most
positive response to using either a ferry service or rapid transit service. It is important to note
that the surveys did not provide any details about transit or ferry service operations, such as
cost, frequency, travel times, or routing, which would influence willingness to use such services.

Table 2.1 summarizes the responses from all travel surveys conducted. Visitors expressed the
greatest interest, with 36 percent of respondents indicating an interest in using a ferry. Of the
largest survey groups (the roadside and employee surveys), 23 percent indicated an interest in
using ferry services. While only 14 percent of employers responded favorably, they had the
greatest “maybe” response at 79 percent. Respondents surveyed at the airport expressed the




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least interest in ferry services, with 63 percent indicating they were not interested or did not
have a need for ferry services across Mobile Bay.

                                         Table 2.1
                           Survey Summary – Interest in Ferry Service

If a passenger ferry service was available between Mobile and eastern shore or other Mobile
Bay destinations, would you have an interest or need in using it?
                             Number of                         Percent Response
Survey
                            Respondents            Yes               Maybe              No
Roadside                       1,855               23%                42%              35%
Employee                         672               23%                34%              43%
Airport                          191               25%                12%              63%
Visitor                           63               36%                33%              30%
Employer                          14               14%                79%               7%

Four distinct groups of potential Mobile Bay ferry riders were identified:

    •     Commuters who live in Baldwin County and work in Mobile County
    •     Commuters who live in Mobile County and work in Baldwin County (reverse commute)
    •     Local residents dependent on or desiring to use public transportation for non-commuter
          trips such as shopping, medical appointments, school, leisure, or recreational trips
    •     Visitors to the area seeking either cross-Bay transportation or on-the-water sightseeing
          opportunities

Commuters and reverse commuters have the potential to create an early demand for ridership
because they already travel between Baldwin and Mobile Counties and, in most cases, make
ten one-way trips between their residence and workplace per week. For the majority of
commuters, travel would take place on weekdays. In the case of reverse commuters traveling
to work in the Gulf Shores area, ridership demand is likely to be highest on weekends and
during the summer months.

It is likely that non-commuter ridership demand will be heavier on weekends and during non-
peak hours because of the trip purpose. The difference in demand patterns between
commuters and non-commuters will provide opportunities to utilize boats for different uses
during different times of the day, on different days of the week (weekdays versus weekends),
and during different seasons. Once services are established, identifying the key ridership
demand factors underlying different types of service will provide information that can be used to
both estimate potential ridership for new or expanded services and attract additional riders.

Ridership Estimation and Forecasts

The estimated ridership for initial ferry service across Mobile Bay is 600 one-way trips per
weekday. This estimation was derived from an off-model calculation using area data and
survey results. Important factors in determining ridership included Mobile-Baldwin County



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commuter characteristics and comparable commuter ferry service characteristics elsewhere in
the United States. This latest projection tracks with work done in 2001 for the Mobile Downtown
Transportation Plan, which projected 540 daily one-way trips using a different methodology.

The Mobile travel demand model was expanded to include portions of Baldwin County and ferry
service was added as a modal alternative. Model calibration for ferry services will require the
development of information about the distribution of trip origins and destinations. After ferry
service becomes operational, information on key demand factors can be entered into the model
to improve its ability to project future ferry ridership demand.

Ridership growth occurring after initial service has started is expected to occur through
increased demand and the addition of ferry services on other routes. As ridership demand
steadily increases, it might be possible to obtain new, larger boats to accommodate demand on
the initial route. The older boats then could be used to inaugurate service on other routes.

Potential Ferry Routes

An important consideration in establishing ferry service is finding viable routes. First and
foremost, the key factor determining the viability of a route is ridership demand. Ridership
demand, in turn, is largely dependent on how well a ferry service competes with alternative
available forms of transportation. In addition, one of the most important factors for commuters is
travel time.

In the case of Mobile Bay’s potential ferry routes, private automobiles currently provide the
primary competing form of transportation. Consequently, any Mobile Bay ferry service will have
to be competitive with automobiles’ costs and transit times to attract riders. To be competitive, a
ferry does not necessarily have to provide faster or less expensive service because riders may
be willing to pay a premium, measured in time and cost, to ride the ferry. Therefore, a
comparison of travel times for trips over land versus trips on the Bay was conducted for the key
ferry routes.

A number of potential ferry routes, displayed in Figure 2.1, were tested for travel times between
locations on the eastern and western shores of Mobile Bay. For each potential route, the total
voyage time (travel time) was calculated at different operating speeds for each of the different
ferryboats and the hovercraft. Calculating total voyage time includes four elements:

   •   Time at dock, including stand-by and embarking/disembarking passengers
   •   Maneuvering in port, docking, and undocking
   •   Travel through restricted speed areas (assumed to be at 10 knots)
   •   Travel through unrestricted areas

The voyage times shown in Table 2.2 for the 75-passenger ferry were based on an operating
speed in unrestricted areas of 40 knots and a speed in restricted areas of 10 knots. Total ferry
voyage time between Mobile Landing and Fairhope’s Long Pier was approximately 36 minutes.
Voyage times at different operating speeds are shown in Figure 2.2.




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                                       Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report

                        Figure 2.1
            Potential Passenger Ferry Routes




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                                                                                            Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report



                                                                  Table 2.2
                                                      Mileages and Voyage Durations for
                                                   Selected One-way Voyages on Mobile Bay

                                               Mileages (nautical miles)                                                                 Voyage Duration (minutes)
Mobile Bay
Locations                                Operating                Restricted                     Total                   Operating                 Restricted                     Port                    Total
                                          Speed                    Speed                        Voyage                    Speed*                    Speed*                       Time**                  Voyage
Mobile-Daphne                                 10.0                          2.3                      12.3                     15.0                      13.8                          7.0                 35.8
Mobile-Fairhope                               10.7                          2.1                      12.8                     16.1                      12.6                          7.0                 35.7
Mobile-Point Clear                            12.0                          2.5                      14.5                     18.0                      15.0                          7.0                 40.0
Mobile-Gulf Shores                            28.2                          6.0                      34.2                     42.3                      36.0                          7.0                 85.3
Fowl River-Point
                                               9.5                          1.7                      11.2                     14.3                      10.2                          6.0                 30.5
Clear
Fowl River-Gulf
                                              21.4                          5.2                      26.6                     32.1                      32.1                          6.0                 69.3
Shores
Source: IBJ Associates
* Note: Times calculated using operating and restricted speeds of 40-knots and 10-knots, respectively.
** Note: Port time includes maneuvering, docking, transfer of passengers, ticket collection, and
         inspection.

                                                                          Figure 2.2
                                                             One-way Voyage Time (minutes)* for
                                                              Mobile-Fairhope (Long Pier) Route
                60
                          58

                55
                                    53

                50                            50

                                                        47
                45
      Minutes




                                                                  44
                                                                            42
                40                                                                    40
                                                                                                39
                                                                                                          37
                                                                                                                    36
                35                                                                                                            35
                                                                                                                                        34
                                                                                                                                                  33
                                                                                                                                                            32
                                                                                                                                                                      32        31
                30                                                                                                                                                                        30        30


                25
                     16        18        20        22        24        26        28        30        32        34        36        38        40        42        44        46        48        50

                                                                                                 Speed (knots)

           Source: IBJ Associates
           * Note: Assumed speed of 10 knots in restricted areas and 7.0 minutes of port time per voyage.

As a baseline, Table 2.3 shows estimated automobile mileages, travel times, and average travel
speeds between selected eastern and western shore locations on Mobile Bay that most
represent current commuter patterns, reverse commuter, visitor or local residents’ recreational
patterns. Travel times for land travel range from approximately 19 minutes between Mobile and



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Daphne to approximately 110 minutes between Fowl River (Mon Louis) and Gulf Shores for
weekday, off-peak travel. Although many commuters may travel to other Mobile County
locations, workers with jobs in the downtown area – relatively close to the Mobile Landing ferry
terminal – will find a Mobile Bay ferry service particularly attractive.

                                       Table 2.3
              Estimated Automobile Travel Times Between Selected Locations

                                                               Average Speed*       Travel Time
Between                                      Miles
                                                                   (mph)             (minutes)
Mobile        Daphne                          13.4                  42                 19.1
Mobile        Fairhope (Long Pier)            18.9                  40                 28.4
Mobile        Point Clear                     24.3                  39                 37.4
Mobile        Gulf Shores                     48.6                  38                 76.7
Fowl River    Point Clear                     45.3                  39                 69.7
Fowl River    Gulf Shores                       69.5                  38                   109.8
Source: IBJ Associates
* Note: The average speeds were calculated for weekday trips at non-commuter hours in December 2003
  and February 2004. Travel during peak periods with congestion would increase travel times.

Since automobile drivers will compare road travel times to ferry trip times, a comparison of
automobile trip times and ferry voyage times for travel between selected Mobile Bay locations is
shown in Table 2.4. Ferry speeds in restricted areas were assumed to be limited to 10 knots.
The two routes which appear to be most attractive for commuter ridership are, Mobile-Fairhope
(Long Pier) and Mobile-Point Clear. Ferryboats could compete very well with automobiles on
the two Fowl River routes but it is not known if enough demand would exist to justify operating
services. Of the two commuter routes, the Mobile-Fairhope route was selected for a number of
reasons as the best route on which to initiate service. The Mobile-Fairhope is a shorter route
and would have shorter travel times at any given operating speed, thus allowing the
maintenance of slightly more attractive schedules during peak hours.

                                         Table 2.4
                       Comparison of Automobile Trip Times and Ferry
                     Voyage Times Between Selected Mobile Bay Locations

                                                                          Ferry Time Advantage or
Mobile Bay Locations            Auto Trip        Ferry Voyage
                                                                               (Disadvantage)
                                 Minutes             Minutes             Minutes          Percent
Mobile-Daphne                         19.1            35.8                (16.7)              -87.4
Mobile-Fairhope                       28.4            35.7                 (7.3)              -25.7
Mobile-Point Clear                    37.4            40.0                 (2.6)               -7.0
Mobile-Gulf Shores                    76.7            85.3                 (8.6)              -11.2
Fowl River-Point Clear                69.7            30.5                 39.2               56.2
Fowl River-Gulf Shores               109.8            69.3                 40.5               36.9
Source: IBJ Associates



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                                            Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report




As indicated, automobiles have a travel time advantage on the four routes that call at Mobile
Landing. However, on three of those routes, Fairhope, Point Clear, and Gulf Shores, the
automobile’s trip time advantage is less than 10 minutes. For such a small differential, riders
may select the ferry services because they perceive it to be more relaxing and reliable that
automobile travel. On the two routes that include Fowl River--Point Clear and Gulf Shores--the
ferryboats have a travel time advantage of approximately 40 minutes.

There are three caveats concerning relative travel times between ferryboat and automobile
travel. First, the ferry travel times do not include the time required to travel between the trip
origin and the ferry terminal and between the other ferry terminal and the trip destination.
Second, as indicated previously, the overland travel times herein do not consider the impact of
delays caused by heavy traffic, accidents, or road construction. Third, travel time is only one
factor influencing a commuter’s choice of mode. It is, however, an important indicator of how
competitive a ferry service would be with other commute choices.

In addition to the quantitative review indicating ferry routes that could be competitive with
automobile travel, local support and input is another important consideration. Through
interviews with local political and civic leaders in Mobile and Baldwin Counties, it was found
there was strong support for restoring ferry services to Mobile Bay. In addition, municipal and
county officials were very helpful in providing terminal site information for consideration in this
study.

Initially, the study team envisioned Mobile Landing as being the sole ferry terminal on the
western shore of Mobile Bay. However, as a result of discussions with interested citizens during
public meetings, a terminal was added at Fowl River in Mon Louis. Citizens residing on the
west side of the Bay indicated that they would be interested in ferry service as an alternative to
driving to work or for recreation from the western shore to Point Clear and, particularly, to Gulf
Shores. Potential demand could be tested by adding voyages on weekends or during non-
commuting times on weekdays.

The potential Mobile Bay passenger ferry routes displayed in Figure 2.1 are listed in the likely
order in which services would be implemented. It is possible, however, that a limited number of
voyages would be made on various routes in order to test operational factors and better gauge
demand. Locations for initial limited service would include Gulf Shores and Point Clear.

Potential Ferry Service Operators

A specific ferry operator has not yet been identified, nor has it been determined as to whether
the venture would be publicly or privately operated. In order to aid decision-making, existing
private operators were contacted to determine if there was interest in operating a Mobile Bay
ferry service and to identify the type of operations currently managed. The following companies
expressed an initial interest in contracting with a public agency to operate one or more new ferry
services on Mobile Bay:

   •   Boston Harbor Cruises
   •   Cotton Blossom
   •   Crabcakes, LLC



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                                           Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report




   •   Hornblower Marine
   •   Island Cruises
   •   Sayville Ferry Service, Inc
   •   Marine Expediters
   •   Mobile Bay Ferry
   •   River Street Riverboat

After providing these operators with more background information about the potential ferryboats,
routes, and terminals being considered, they were invited to submit a written Expression of
Interest to operate a potential new passenger ferry service on Mobile Bay. A copy of the
Expression of Interest request is included in Appendix A. Four operators (Boston Harbor
Cruises, Hornblower Marine Services, Sayville Ferry Services, and Mobile Bay Ferry) submitted
Expressions of Interest, accompanied by a statement of qualifications about their firm’s
experience, management, staffing, operations, and financial stability. If it is decided to hire a
private firm to operate the ferry service, the next step would be to issue a Request for Proposal
for operating the ferry service.




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  3 Ferryboat Characteristics
The study considered which ferryboat characteristics would best meet operating conditions for
Mobile Bay passenger ferry service. The evaluation specifically considered navigational
constraints, passenger load, and regulatory requirements for ferry operations.

Navigational Constraints

Existing navigational constraints were reviewed to determine if they would significantly limit
operations of a Mobile Bay ferry service. The following constraints were considered:

   •   Water depth is relatively shallow in many areas of Mobile Bay. For that reason, boats
       with a maximum draft of five feet are recommended because they will have the greatest
       geographic operating flexibility. For some ferry terminal locations, limited dredging may
       be required. Water depth was not considered to be a major problem.

   •   Limitations on ferryboat wakes were examined during the study. It was determined that
       ferryboats could be designed that would not likely exceed the wake characteristics of
       boats and ships currently operating in Mobile Bay. However, realizing that a low-wake
       boat design will be important for operations in the Bay, such a design will also need to
       be carefully balanced with operating speed capability.

   •   Restricted speed areas were incorporated into the analyses and are not considered to
       be detrimental. Even if restricted speed areas did not exist, safety considerations would
       dictate that speeds be reduced to safe levels in congested areas. The base case
       assumed that ferries would operate at a maximum speed of 10 knots in restricted areas.
       The two restricted areas that have the greatest impact on ferry voyage times are the
       main ship channel south of Mobile Landing and the section of the Gulf Intracoastal
       Waterway (GIW) between Mobile Bay and the SR 59 Bridge.

   •   Coastal erosion could be a problem in some areas along the eastern shore of Mobile
       Bay. Consequently, ferries will be designed and routes planned to ensure that ferries do
       not contribute to such erosion.

   •   Weather-related delays are not expected to be a problem.              Historical weather
       information indicated that problems caused by reduced visibility (e.g., fog), high waves,
       or heavy precipitation which would be serious enough to delay or disrupt operations are
       likely to be encountered only a few days during an average year. Furthermore, it may be
       possible to provide alternative overland transportation (e.g., buses) on days that ferry
       service is delayed or suspended.

Ferryboat Types

Five different ferryboats—one hovercraft, one monohull, and three catamarans—were evaluated
for use in Mobile Bay. Capacities ranged from 20 passengers on the hovercraft to 149
passengers on the largest catamaran. Operating speeds ranged from 25 knots on the monohull
ferry to 40 knots on the 75-passenger catamaran ferry. Many other ferryboat designs are



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available that offer different combinations of size, speed, and passenger capacity. It could be
cost-effective to design a boat that has the combination of features and characteristics that most
closely fit the requirements for operating unique services on Mobile Bay.

In addition to catamaran hulls, some fast monohull designs and a hovercraft were considered.
At the current time, no hovercraft are being built in the United States and foreign-built boats are
excluded from domestic routes by the Jones Act. The monohull designs typically have
substantially lower capital costs than catamarans, but have higher wakes, require more power
to achieve the same speed, and usually have deeper draft for a given passenger capacity.

The vessel that would best meet operating conditions and passenger load requirements for
Mobile Bay operations is a catamaran. Catamaran hulls currently comprise the majority of
faster operating ferry designs. Aluminum-hulled catamarans have a number of favorable
characteristics that include:

   •   Separate hulls, wide beam, and good stability for safety
   •   Lightweight and low maintenance aluminum hulls and superstructure
   •   High speed operations up to 50 knots
   •   Low wake designs

Existing ferryboats could be used to establish ferry services on Mobile Bay. However, it might
not be possible to find used boats with the desired combination of features (size, passenger
capacity, wake characteristics, speed, and operating costs). If two or three used ferryboats
were available for charter at an acceptable cost for a 12 to 24-month period, and if those boats
could be operated effectively on Mobile Bay, there is no reason that service could not be
initiated with used boats. If used boats are not available, it might be possible to find an existing
design that incorporates the features desired for ferryboats to be operated on Mobile Bay.

If existing boats cannot be found with the desired combination of features, new boats can be
designed and built to the particular specifications desired for operation on Mobile Bay.
Developing a new design generally includes higher costs in two areas. First, the cost of
developing the design usually will be higher than that of using an existing design. Second, the
cost of constructing a boat from a new design may be higher because shipyard workers will not
be familiar with the design (at a low point on the learning curve) and more change orders are
likely to be required as the design evolves during construction. If a shipyard has experience
building a boat of a particular design, the time and cost of construction may be reduced.
However, if existing designs cannot provide the desired combination of performance, attributes,
and features, a boat can be designed to better match those objectives.

If an existing design is used, the shipyard will generally easily handle options in the design and
construction phases. Nevertheless, using the services of a consulting naval architect can help
ensure quality control during certain stages of the design and construction process. If a new
design is being developed, the naval architect will be involved throughout the process.
Outfitting the vessel, whether an existing or new design, usually requires frequent input from the
owner or operator. The owner or operator will also take active control of hiring, training, and
managing crews.




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Regulatory Requirements

Operating a Mobile Bay ferry is subject to federal, state and local regulatory requirements
established and enforced by multiple public agencies. For ferryboats, the primary regulating
federal agencies include the U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Communications Commission,
Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, and
Occupational Safety and Health Administration. For ferry terminals, regulators are mostly from
state and local agencies, such as the state coastal zone management agency, state
environmental agency, state port authority, local municipalities, and public land-owning agency.

Federal Regulation

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is the principal regulator of ferry services. It is responsible for
establishing and enforcing regulations for safety, environmental protection, and security. The
USCG has oversight concerning passenger vessel design, materials used, construction,
outfitting, captain’s licensing, required crew size, training standards, inspections, and vessel
safety certification.

Other federal agencies have responsibilities involving communications equipment and use,
engine emission standards, handicapped access, labor practices, and occupational safety
ashore. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorizes and certifies onboard
radio equipment and licenses crew members using that equipment. The Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) establishes engine emission standards required for engines in new
vessels. The Department of Justice enforces onboard and terminal construction requirements
and promulgates guidelines now being determined by the U.S. Access Board for implementation
of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Department of Labor establishes and enforces rules
on overtime and other labor practices. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) is responsible for standards and enforcement of safety and health requirements for
shoreside personnel, while the U.S. Coast Guard maintains that jurisdiction for vessel personnel
and passengers.

State and Local Agency Regulation

Usually, a state public utility commission or a regional or local consumer oriented agency
regulates fares and tariffs of public transportation services. A state coastal zone management
agency or environmental agency regulates air, water, land, noise, and other ecological impacts
resulting from construction on and use of shoreline property.

The state port authority and local jurisdictions can establish speed limits over selected waters.
Local municipalities regulate and enforce land use laws, zoning restrictions, building permits,
building codes, and fire codes. Public land owning agencies have authority over public lands
that can be used for terminal sites.




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Principal Regulatory Considerations

The U.S. Coast Guard has established regulatory standards for vessel classes with different
sizes and passenger carrying capacities based upon expected safety risks encountered.
Vessels under 100 Gross Registered Tons (GRT) with carrying capacity up to 150 passengers
are classed for the rules of 46 CFR Subchapter T and have the least restrictive requirements.

Vessels under 100 GRT but carrying more than 150 passengers are classed for the rules of 46
CFR Subchapter K and have additional requirements. Vessels larger than 100 GRT would
probably draw too much water to operate outside the main channel in Mobile Bay. The ferries
recommended for initial construction in this report will be classed under the rules contained in
Subchapter T.




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 4      Berthing and Terminal Characteristics
Site Selection Criteria for Potential Terminal Sites

Based on interviews with local officials and on-site inspections, 13 waterfront sites were
selected for evaluation as candidate ferry terminal locations. Ten are located on Mobile Bay’s
eastern shore in Baldwin County; three are located on the western shore in southeast Mobile
County. The Mobile Landing location near Cooper Park in Mobile was not included in this
analysis since that terminal was pre-selected as a key terminal for any potential ferry service to
be operated in Mobile Bay.

Nineteen criteria grouped into five topic areas were developed and used to assess the feasibility
of each potential site. The relative weightings of importance for each criterion were then
assigned as maximum scores. The scores for all criteria at each of the 13 sites were
determined from site visits and examinations, interviews with local officials and interested
parties, measurements taken or estimated, and previous study team experience at other
locations.

The criteria were grouped within five topic areas as follows:

   •   Potential Ridership – Expected use by commuters to Mobile, reverse commuters from
       Mobile into Baldwin County, and other users such as shoppers, tourists, and other
       travelers.
   •   Waterside Access – Water depths alongside the existing or potential pier and in the
       access channel to deeper water; ease of navigation; usefulness of existing pier,
       dolphins, pilings, floats, and ramps; current channel depth maintenance by public or
       private funds; sheltered position; and low construction cost.
   •   Upland Access – Convenient parking area, proximity to population centers, covered
       waiting area, and usefulness of existing building.
   •   Multimodal Access – Availability of local bus, van, or jitney service to jobs and off-site
       parking lots, useful road access at terminal, and ease of pedestrian access to
       destinations and parking.
   •   Other Considerations – Minimal environmental protection issues, support from abutting
       property owners, and absence of conflicts with property users.

Table 4.1 summarizes the evaluation for each of the candidate terminal sites. The top five
potential sites are highlighted.




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                                                                                                      Table 4.1
                                                                                      Potential Ferry Terminal Site Evaluation

                                                                                                                              Town and Site
                                                                                                                                                                                         Magnolia     Hollingers
                                           Daphne     Daphne        Fairhope     Point Clear   Gulf Shores     Mon Louis         Daphne        Fairhope       Fairhope      Fairhope                                Theodore
                                 Maximum                                                                                                                                                 Springs       Island
Ranking Factors
                                  Score                                                                                                                                                                             Industrial
                                                                                                              Fowl River at                                                Laural Ave.   Weeks Bay   Dog River at
                                           May Day   Lake Forest    Municipal                   G.I.W.W. at                     Bayfront      Sea Cliff at   Pier Street                                             Canal at
                                                                                 Grand Hotel                    SR 193                                                     at American    at SR 98     SR 163
                                            Park     Yacht Club    (Long) Pier                 SR 59 Bridge                      Park          Fly Creek     Boat Ramp                                                SR 193
                                                                                                                Bridge                                                        Legion       Bridge      Bridge
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bridge
Potential Ridership
Commuters                          10        10          10            10            10            10              5               10             10             5             5             5            5             5
Reverse commuters                  10        5           5             10            10            10              10               5              5             5             5             5            5             5
Other users                        10        5           5             10            10            10              5                5              5             5             5             0            5             5
Subtotal Potential Ridership       30        20          20            30            30            30              20              20             20             15            15           10           15            15
Waterside Access
Adequate water depth               15        0           5             15            15            15              15               5             10             0             0             0           15            15
Ease of navigation                  5         5          3             5             5              3              3                5              3             5             5             0            3             5
Usable pier or wharf                5         5          0             5             5              5              5                2              3             0             0             3            5             5
Maintained channel                  5         0          0             2             2              5              5                0              5             0             0             0            5             5
Sheltered berthing                  5        0           0             0             5              5              5                0              5             0             0             5            5             5
Construction cost                   5        4           4             4             3              5              3               4               3             3             3             3            2             2
Subtotal, Waterside Access         40        14          12            31            35            38              36              16             29             8             8            11           35            37
Upland Access
Convenient parking area            15         0          10            10            5              5              10              15              5             0             15            5           10            10
Proximity to pop. centers           5        0           0             5             0              0              0               2               0             2             0             0            0             0
Covered waiting area                5        0           5             5             0              0              0                5              2             0             0             3            0             0
Existing, usable building           5         0          5             5             0              0              0                5              2             0             2             3            0             0
Subtotal, Upland Access            30        0           20            25            5              5              10              27              9             2             17           11           10            10
Multimodal Access
Bus/van/jitney available            5        0           0             2             0              2              0               0               0             0             0            0             0             0
Road access                         5         5          3             5             5              5              5                5              5             5             5             5            5             5
Pedestrian access                   5        5           2             3             0              0              0                0              0             2             2             0            0             0
Subtotal, Multimodal Access        15        10          5             10            5              7              5               5               5             7             7             5            5             5
Other Considerations
Min. environmental impact           5        0           5             2             5              5              5                5              5             0             5             0            3             5
Abutters' support                   5        0           5             0             5              5              5               5               0             0             0             0            5             5
Absence of use conflicts            5        0           2             2             5              5              5                5              0             0             5             0            5             5
Subtotal, Other Considerations     15         0          12            4             15            15              15              15              5             0             10            0           13            15

Total Score                        130       44          69           100            90            95              86              83             68             32            57           37           78            82



Top 5 Potential Terminal Sites


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                                            Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report



Terminal Site Considerations
Out of the 13 initial site locations, five were identified for additional field evaluation. The five
highest scoring sites (100 to 83 of 130 possible) are described in the following paragraphs in
terms of their most critical characteristics and considerations. Figures 4.1 through 4.5 show
conceptual layouts, inventory and evaluation, and estimated development cost for each site.
Additional terminal site evaluation information is included in Appendix B.
   Municipal (Long) Pier in Fairhope (100)
   • In city-owned park near business and tourism center
   • Limited parking at the foot of the pier and an uphill walk to town
   • Use of some existing spaces during selected time periods and potential development of
     the area south of the park for low impact ferry parking in conjunction with City of
     Fairhope
   • Potential off-site parking with shuttle service is a consideration for additional parking
   • Marina and restaurant on pier would complement ferry terminal activities
   • Dredging permit exists but additional work may be needed
   Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at the SR 59 Bridge in Gulf Shores (95)
   • Publicly owned site under highway bridge
   • Deep water on federally maintained channel
   • Parking availability and shuttle/van/jitney service will be needed
   • Seasonal employment opportunities available for reverse commuters
   Grand Hotel in Point Clear (90)
   • Inlet is privately dredged and has a breakwater and marina
   • Limited parking on-site, although hotel is planning a new parking structure
   • Plans for waterfront housing may interfere with location for landing inside breakwater
   • Alternative position for ferry landing is outside and north of the breakwater
   • Landing is a short, level walk to hotel and parking
   Fowl River at the SR 193 Bridge in Mon Louis (Mobile County) (86)
   • Publicly owned site is adjacent to SR 193 Bridge
   • Accessible for vehicles
   • Space for limited parking at the site
   • Off-site land for parking may be needed
   • Remote area in rural quadrant of Mobile County
   • Possible source of reverse commute ridership
   Bayfront Park in Daphne (83)
   • Location consists of three contiguous city-owned undeveloped properties
   • Extensive space available for parking
   • Meeting hall and pier at road’s end accessible from Main Street
   • Pier will require additional construction and dredging alongside
   • North-south dredging permit exists but may need to bring channel closer ashore
   • Meeting hall is elevated for covered waiting space outside and office inside
   • Site close to Bayway and I-10 ramps
   • Limited foot traffic to local activities



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                                             Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report

                                           Figure 4.1
                                Proposed Ferry Terminal - Fairhope




       Item                                 Inventory/Evaluation
       Existing Structures and Facilities   This site contains a fully functional municipal pier
                                            complete with restrooms, restaurant, marina, lighting,
                                            water, sewer, and other amenities. The pier has
                                            concrete decking supported with PPC piles. The pier is
                                            1,425 feet long by 16 feet wide resting about 10 feet
                                            above the water.
       Marine Work                          The pier extends far enough into the bay such that
                                            minimal dredging will be required.
       Power and Lighting Systems           This facility has available power and lighting systems for
                                            the ferry service. The new parking area will have area
                                            lighting.
       Water and Sewer Systems              The site has adequate water and sewer systems in
                                            place for use by the public.
       Fire Protection                      This facility has fire protection as required by code.
       Access Roadways and Parking          This site is easily accessible from Alt. US-98 and the
       Areas                                Fairhope area via Beach Road and Fairhope Avenue.
                                            Weekday ferry commuter parking may be available in
                                            existing lot. Parking expansion possible through low
                                            impact methods in coordination with the City of
                                            Fairhope.
       Estimated Site Cost                  $497,000
July 2004
                                               Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report

                                           Figure 4.2
                              Proposed Ferry Terminal - Gulf Shores




       Item                                 Inventory/Evaluation
       Existing Structures and Facilities   This site is maintained by the City of Gulf Shoes and
                                            has a boat ramp, pier, parking and lighting. All facilities
                                            are relatively new and in good condition. This site is
                                            located directly under the SR-59 Bridge over the Gulf
                                            Intercoastal Waterway.
       Marine Work                          No marine work will be required since this site is on
                                            the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
       Power and Lighting Systems           This site has power available as well as area lighting.
                                            The lighting will be improved as part of the ferry
                                            service program.
       Water and Sewer Systems              The site has no water and sewer services present, but
                                            these will be added as part of the ferry improvements.
       Fire Protection                      No present fire protection exists but a city water main
                                            is nearby.
       Access Roadways and Parking          This site is easily accessible from SR-59 and the Gulf
       Areas                                Shores area via East 24th Avenue that runs adjacent to
                                            the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Parking is adequate,
                                            but new parking will be added at a site under the
                                            bridge and across East 24th Avenue.
       Estimated Site Cost                  $373,948

July 2004
                                              Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report

                                           Figure 4.3
                               Proposed Ferry Terminal - Point Clear




       Item                                 Inventory/Evaluation
       Existing Structures and Facilities   This site contains an operational servicing the local
                                            area and the Grand Hotel. The Grand Hotel is adjacent
                                            to this site and is an upscale vacation destination for
                                            many visitors. Additionally, many companies and
                                            government agencies use this facility for conferences
                                            and seminars. The marina has available utilities and is
                                            protected by a seawall.
       Marine Work                          Due to the marina, minimal dredging will be required.
       Power and Lighting Systems           This facility has available power and lighting systems
                                            for the ferry service. The new parking area across Alt.
                                            US-98 will have area lighting.
       Water and Sewer Systems              The site has adequate water and sewer systems in
                                            place for use by the public.
       Fire Protection                      This facility has fire protection as required by code.
       Access Roadways and Parking          This site is easily accessible from Alt. US-98. Parking
       Areas                                is minimal and will be expanded for the new ferry
                                            service.
       Estimated Site Cost                  $743,003




July 2004
                                               Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report

                                           Figure 4.4
                               Proposed Ferry Terminal - Fowl River




       Item                                 Inventory/Evaluation
       Existing Structures and Facilities   This site contains no structures or facilities.
       Marine Work                          No marine work will be required since this site is on
                                            the Fowl River.
       Power and Lighting Systems           This site has no power or lighting available. However,
                                            an electrical transmission line runs along the western
                                            ROW. New electrical service to the ferry site will be
                                            provided.
       Water and Sewer Systems              The site has no water and sewer services present, but
                                            these will be added as part of the ferry improvements.
       Fire Protection                      No present fire protection exists.
       Access Roadways and Parking          This site is easily accessible from SR-193 at the
       Areas                                southern end of the Fowl River Bridge. A new parking
                                            area will be constructed for the ferry service. Property
                                            adjacent to the existing ROW will be purchased for the
                                            parking and new facilities.
       Estimated Site Cost                  $770,226




July 2004
                                             Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report

                                         Figure 4.5
                              Proposed Ferry Terminal - Daphne




      Item                  Inventory/Evaluation
      Existing Structures   This site contains a fully functional civic center elevated on wood
      and Facilities        piling. A gazebo with a 200-foot-long pier provides access to the bay.
                            The civic center is in good condition and will be improved to provide
                            easy access for restrooms and refreshments as well as meet ADA
                            requirements. The existing pier is somewhat worn and will be
                            refurbished to accept the ferry passenger traffic.
      Marine Work           This part of the bay is shallow, and dredging will be required to
                            provide ferry access.
      Power and Lighting    The civic center, gazebo, and pier have power available as well as
      Systems               area lighting. The lighting will be improved as part of the ferry
                            program.
      Water and Sewer       The site has adequate water and sewer systems in place for use by
      Systems               the public.
      Fire Protection       The civic center building has a fire protection system and a water
                            main is nearby.
      Access Roadways       This site is easily accessible from US-98 and the Daphne area via
      and Parking Areas     Bayfront Park Drive. Parking is plentiful with a crushed stone sub-
                            base and curbing for asphalt parking already in place just east of the
                            gazebo. Other areas used for parking are not presently paved, and
                            these improvements will be incorporated as part of the ferry program
      Estimated Site Cost   $604,248

July 2004
                                             Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report

                                         Figure 4.5
                              Proposed Ferry Terminal - Daphne




      Item                  Inventory/Evaluation
      Existing Structures   This site contains a fully functional civic center elevated on wood
      and Facilities        piling. A gazebo with a 200-foot-long pier provides access to the bay.
                            The civic center is in good condition and will be improved to provide
                            easy access for restrooms and refreshments as well as meet ADA
                            requirements. The existing pier is somewhat worn and will be
                            refurbished to accept the ferry passenger traffic.
      Marine Work           This part of the bay is shallow, and dredging will be required to
                            provide ferry access.
      Power and Lighting    The civic center, gazebo, and pier have power available as well as
      Systems               area lighting. The lighting will be improved as part of the ferry
                            program.
      Water and Sewer       The site has adequate water and sewer systems in place for use by
      Systems               the public.
      Fire Protection       The civic center building has a fire protection system and a water
                            main is nearby.
      Access Roadways       This site is easily accessible from US-98 and the Daphne area via
      and Parking Areas     Bayfront Park Drive. Parking is plentiful with a crushed stone sub-
                            base and curbing for asphalt parking already in place just east of the
                            gazebo. Other areas used for parking are not presently paved, and
                            these improvements will be incorporated as part of the ferry program
      Estimated Site Cost   $604,248

July 2004
                                              Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report



Of the five potential terminal sites identified, only the Fairhope site would initially receive regular
scheduled ferry service that would require the provision of weekday commuter parking. The
Fairhope Municipal Pier site has existing parking of which a significant portion is not currently
used during weekday commuter periods. An adjacent open area could also be developed for a
low impact parking expansion if acceptable to the City. Should initial ferry service utilization
result in parking demand that exceeds the available on-site spaces, a quick response to
establish additional parking capacity at a remote site would need to be considered in
conjunction with the City. Access between the pier and the remote parking facility could be
provided through shuttle service operated by public or private providers.

Logistics and Out-of-Service Berthing

Ferry Maintenance Tasks

Ferry servicing, running maintenance, and overhaul can be organized within three categories of
tasks that include:

   •   Daily servicing tasks
   •   Running maintenance requirements
   •   Shipyard/boatyard projects

Daily tasks include checking safety equipment, monitoring and replenishing equipment
lubricants and fluids, recording pertinent data, cleaning vessels, and renewing consumable
supplies. Running maintenance requirements include fueling, routine preventative and
corrective maintenance, and other tasks occurring less frequently than daily. Shipyard projects
are those tasks beyond the capability of in-house or contracted mechanics at the ferry
operator’s maintenance facility.    Ferry operators use shipyards for major repairs and
modifications, as well as outside maintenance of the hull and its attachments below the
waterline.

Ferry Maintenance Locations

Ferry maintenance can be performed at four types of shore facilities: passenger terminals, lay
berths, maintenance facilities, and shipyards. Passenger terminals should not be used for ferry
maintenance activities. Ferry landings should remain clean with well maintained waiting areas
offering an unimpeded walkway between shore and the vessel. Lay berths are in-water storage
locations for vessels when they are not in service. They are generally located in secure out-of-
the-way locations where necessary daily tasks are performed before and after the ferries are in
service. The maintenance facility should be located where its activities can be accomplished
without interfering with normal operations. This is often collocated with the lay berths.
Shipyards and boatyards have equipment and personnel that can accomplish the largest and
most difficult maintenance tasks for the ferry operator.

Selection of a Mobile Bay Ferry Maintenance Facility Site

A dedicated maintenance facility will not be required during the early years of operation,
particularly if only three ferryboats are operated. If ferry services are expanded, however, it




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probably will be cost-effective to establish a well-designed maintenance facility at some point in
the future. Useful criteria for locating and outfitting a maintenance facility include:

   •   The waterfront location should not be too distant from Mobile Landing. If sufficient space
       is available, it could also be used as the lay berth. In that case, the berths should have
       limited exposure to other vessels’ high-energy wake wash.
   •   If available, the site could be located in a marine industry area where similar activities
       are centered and useful resources are readily available.
   •   If the maintenance facility is located with the lay berths, a secondary consideration would
       be to have the lay berths located away from, and possibly out of sight of, Mobile Landing
       in order to diminish waiting passenger frustration at viewing one or more out of service
       ferryboats.
   •   The site should be easily accessible by vehicles. A secure building is needed to hold
       spare parts, a workshop, a locker room, and an office. It should have a fenced and
       locked parking area for vehicles and large vessel components that are weatherproofed.
   •   The shop needs utilities such as 110- and 220-volt electricity, air conditioning, water,
       wastewater containment or treatment, air compressor, waste removal, telephone, and
       web access. The shop will need tools and machinery outfitted to work with wood, metal,
       diesel engines, electrical components, and other shipboard systems.

Possible sites were identified at:

   •   Alabama State Docks property on the Three Mile Creek/Industrial Canal waterways
   •   Alabama Department of Transportation property on the eastern side of the Mobile River
       over the I-10 tunnel
   •   It also might be possible to temporarily locate a maintenance facility at an unused
       portion of one of the local repair shipyards or boatyards

Shipyards and Boatyards

Over 20 boatyards in the Mobile Bay area advertise boat repair capabilities. Many of those
yards also may have useful physical and technical capabilities to assist in maintenance of the
ferryboats. Not all shipyards will be interested in providing repairs to the ferryboats because
many are not equipped for or experienced in repairing aluminum-hulled vessels.

Larger, full-service repair shipyards located in the Mobile area include:

   •   C & G Boat Works
   •   Harrison Brothers Dry Dock and Repair
   •   Henry Marine Service
   •   Master Marine
   •   Steiner Shipyard, Inc.




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  5 Environmental Review
Ferry operations and terminal activities may produce local environmental impacts. An
environmental review was conducted, and major environmental considerations for ferry and
terminal operations are summarized in this section.

Ferry Operations

A number of potential environmental impacts can result from ferry service. Vessels can impact
water quality if there are spills of fuel, lube oil, or other wastes. Engine exhaust can contribute
to air quality degradation. Engine exhaust and loud horns, whistles, radios, and PA
announcements can increase noise levels near vessels. Wake wash energy from passing
vessels can impact shore property and structures, as well as other vessels at moorings or
underway.

Appropriate designs and operation of the ferries can control and minimize air quality impacts
with close attention by vessel designers, managers, and operating crewmembers. Depending
on the dates of the procurement, engine selection should be tuned to updated emission
reduction design and any potential pre- and post-treatment options available for the newest
available engines. It may be possible to find engines built to EPA 2007 standards available for
initial service start-up. Current applicable standards can be found in 40 CFR 89.

Well-designed mufflers installed during construction will greatly assist with noise suppression.
Operating and maintenance personnel are critical to reducing noise by minimizing use of loud
devices, using them more when away from land, and keeping vessels properly tuned.

Using standard procedures for fueling and lubricating, as well as removing wastes from the
vessels promptly and properly, can minimize the occurrences of spillage.

As included in Appendix C, wake wash measurements from existing vessels were taken and
baselines were determined to ensure ferry selection would create less wake wash than currently
exists on Mobile Bay and adjoining waterways. Using a standard distance of 300 meters,
vessel impact on wash and erosion was measured for three typical vessels found on Mobile
Bay. Wash from oceangoing cargo ships transiting Mobile’s main channel was 71.2 cm high
with energy of 5,081 joules/meter; wash from a tugboat was 90.0 cm and energy at 5,572 j/m;
and wash from a passing pleasure boat measured 163.1 cm and energy at 17,859 j/m. The
pleasure boat, a large yacht, had a displacement type hull and was traveling at a relatively high
speed. The operating speed of a vessel is one of a number of factors which determines the
dissipation of energy and resulting wash. Catamaran fast ferries operating at 27 knots or higher
can be designed with wake wash less than 25.0 cm and energy under 2,000 joules/meter.

Critical for high-speed operations is the need to select appropriate locations for transitions
between low and high speeds because of the high wake wash generated at those transition
points. If appropriate locations are not available, longer portions of the route may have to be
run at slower than optimal speed to avoid excessive wake wash.




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Terminal Operations

The selected terminal sites are relatively clear of hazardous substances; however, there were a
few negative reports. Fuel spills from prior traffic accidents on nearby roads and a number of
buried fuel tanks, most of which have been removed, were identified.

Terminal operators and ferryboat crews are responsible for keeping these areas clean and
waste-free. Fueling is only likely to be done at the future maintenance facility or, even more
likely, at commercial fuel docks in the Mobile area. Careful attention is required to ensure no
fuels or wastes are spilled in the water.

The potential for ferry service induced road traffic volumes was considered. Due to the length of
the weekday morning peak period (occurring over three hours) and the relatively low number of
additional vehicles anticipated to randomly arrive at the terminal, significant additional traffic
volumes are not anticipated.

Any associated dredging with terminal development should consider the type of dredging
utilized, removal of material to a proper disposal area, and potential impact to marine life.

Marine Life

Two marine species, the Florida Manatee and the Gulf Sturgeon, were identified by the U.S.
Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service (F&WS) as species requiring special
attention. The F&WS information is included in Appendix D.

Florida Manatees have often been sighted in Mobile Bay, particularly in shallow areas with
vegetation during the warmer months. The Manatee is an endangered species that can be
injured if struck by boat hulls or cut by propellers. F&WS recommended that a trained Manatee
observer be employed aboard each ferryboat during summer months to alert the Captain of any
Manatees spotted in the water so the ferry can avoid that area. It is likely that an existing
crewmember would serve as the Manatee lookout. On any smaller boats operating with only
one crewmember, an additional person would be required. To allow for consistency in the
comparison of different boats operated on each route, no additional costs were included for a
Manatee lookout on small boats.

The Gulf Sturgeon is classified as a threatened species and is not likely to be impacted by the
ferryboat operations. Gulf Sturgeons could, however, be negatively impacted by dredging
required to construct the ferry terminals. Consequently, the F&WS indicated that special
precautions would have to be taken to preclude injury to Gulf Sturgeons during dredging
operations.




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                                            Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report




  6 Economic Analysis
Economic analysis for ferry service development evaluated potential capital and operating costs
of providing ferry service alternatives. Costs considered ferryboat acquisition, terminal
construction, financing, labor, fuel, maintenance, insurance, management, and marketing.

Capital Costs

Table 6.1 lists the acquisition cost for each of the five types of ferries. It was assumed that new
boats would be purchased. The table also shows the daily capital cost for each of the boats,
assuming 350 operating days for each vessel. If a boat is operated for fewer than 350 days,
total annual capital costs must be divided by the number of operating days. Although the
hovercraft is included in the comparison, these are currently not built in the United States.
Because of the Jones Act, which prohibits service between U.S. locations aboard a foreign-built
vessel, it would not be possible to purchase a foreign-built hovercraft and operate it in Mobile
Bay.

                                         Table 6.1
              Estimated Capital Costs for Selected Ferryboats and Hovercraft

Boat No.                           1              2             3             4             5
Hull Type                      Hovercraft     Monohull     Catamaran     Catamaran     Catamaran
                                               Alum.
Description
                                               Zodiac
Passenger capacity                 20            24             34           75            149
Operating speed (knots)            40            25             30           40            33
Approx. Capital Cost*            $900           $300          $1,050       $2,200        $3,900
Source: IBJ Associates
Note (*) Cost in $000

The recommended ferryboat, the 75-passenger catamaran, is estimated to have a purchase
capital cost of $2.2 million. Thus, for three boats the total cost would be $6.6-million, of which
80 percent or $5.3 million may be covered by federal grants with local funding required for the
remaining 20 percent.

Order-of-magnitude costs were estimated for modifying existing facilities or building new
terminals at five locations on Mobile Bay. A summary of the estimated costs is included in
Table 6.2. As indicated, capital costs for all five facilities totals $3.0 million. For the initial
project phase, only three terminals will be required: one at Mobile Landing, one at Fairhope’s
Long Pier, and the third at Gulf Shores. The Mobile Landing terminal will be built as part of
another project. The cost of building the other two terminals is estimated to total about
$871,000. Of this amount, the terminal cost at Fairhope’s Long Pier would be $497,000 with
$374,000 for the terminal in Gulf Shores. This would allow ferryboats to provide scheduled
service to Fairhope and to make limited runs to Gulf Shores seasonally, on weekends, or during
off-peak times for scheduled, subscription, or special excursion service as capacity and funding
allow. The terminal in Gulf Shores would be built on the south side of the Gulf Intracoastal



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Waterway near the SR 59 Bridge. Initial limited service to Point Clear would be through
utilization of an existing facility prior to placement of a new terminal.

                                           Table 6.2
                        Estimated Costs of Ferry Terminals by Location

                          Proposed Terminal Location           Total Costs*
                          Fairhope (Long Pier)                    $497,000
                          Gulf Shores                             $374,000
                          Point Clear                             $743,000
                          Fowl River                              $770,000
                          Daphne (Bayfront Park)                  $604,000
                           Total:                                $2,988,000
                      Source: KBR estimates
                      Note (*): Estimates are based on order-of-magnitude costs

Federal subsidies should be available to cover 80 percent of the capital costs for ferryboats,
terminals, and a transit vehicle for Fairhope shuttle service. The estimated capital costs are
shown in Table 6.3. Funding options are discussed in Section 7: Ferry Recommendation –
Initial Service.


                                           Table 6.3
            Estimated Capital Costs for Terminals, Ferryboats, and Fairhope Shuttle
                                        (current dollars)

 Item Description                                             Three-boat Fleet    Two-boat Fleet

 Terminals (Fairhope’s Long Pier and Gulf Shores)                 $871,000           $871,000

 Ferryboats                                                     $6,600,000         $4,400,000
 Shuttle Vehicle for Fairhope Downtown-Long Pier                  $100,000           $100,000
 Total Capital Cost                                             $7,571,000         $5,371,000
 Less 80% Federal Grants                                        $6,057,000         $4,297,000
 Capital Costs to be funded through other sources:              $1,514,000         $1,074,000
Source: IBJA Associates




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                                            Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report



Operating Costs

Operating costs were calculated for each of the vessel types. Crew costs were the only labor
costs included as a separate category. All shoreside labor was assumed to be in the
management cost category. The monohull and the smallest capacity catamaran were assumed
to be crewed by only a Captain, while the larger boats were assumed to be crewed by a Captain
and a mate. Crewing the ferryboats will be the responsibility of the company or city/county
department selected to manage the Mobile Bay ferry services. Regardless of who manages the
boats, certain crew requirements must be met.

It is important to recognize that the U.S. Coast Guard’s local Captain of the Port dictates
required staffing of ferries. Staffing assumed herein is representative of what typically is
required by the U.S. Coast Guard in other ports. It is always possible, although unlikely, that the
U.S. Coast Guard will require different staffing because of local conditions or anticipated risks.
Also, it may be required that a trained Manatee observer be on board the ferryboats during the
warmer months, and the cost for an additional observer has not been included in the operating
costs. It was assumed that the Manatee observer, if required, would be part of the crew,
specially trained to spot Manatees along with other duties.

For planning purposes, the manning levels were estimated for the different boats.           Three
positions were defined, as follows:

   •   Captain-1: A USCG-licensed captain, experienced in high-speed ferry operations.
   •   Captain-2/Mate: A USCG-licensed captain, with less experience than Captain-1.
   •   Deckhand: An unlicensed crewmember who would assist with lines during docking and
       undocking and handle ticket collection onboard.

Captain-1 and Captain-2 would hold the same Master’s license from the USCG; the primary
difference between the two is the amount of experience, which would, in turn, be reflected in the
salaries paid at each level. The more experienced Captain-1 is assumed to be employed on the
hovercraft and the two largest (75- and 149-passenger) catamarans. The captain on the two
smaller ferryboats was assumed to be the less experienced Captain-2. The 75-passenger
catamaran was assumed to have one deckhand in addition to the captain. The 149-passenger
catamaran was assumed to have two additional crewmembers: a mate (Captain-2) and a
deckhand.

As shown in Table 6.4, hourly costs ranged from about $29.00 for a Captain to $14.00 for a
deckhand. The Mate category in the middle column represents the costs for the Captain on the
two small boats, and the mate on the larger boats. Overtime costs were assumed to be 150
percent of straight-time costs for all positions.




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                                            Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report



                                           Table 6.4
                          Estimated Wage Cost Input for Ferryboat Crews
Category                          Captain                   Mate                Deckhand
Salary                            $38,000                  $27,500               $18,500
Fringes and taxes                 $14,755                  $10,607                $7,506
Total annual cost                 $52,755                  $38,107               $26,006
Annual workdays                     260                     260                    260
Less vacation days                  20                       15                     15
Less holidays                       10                       10                     10
Net annual workdays                 230                     235                    235
Daily cost                        $229.37                  $162.16               $110.66
Hourly cost (8 hr./day)           $28.67                   $20.27                 $13.83
Source: IBJ Associates

All boats and the hovercraft are powered by diesel engines. The price of diesel fuel, net of road
taxes, was assumed to average about $1.00 per gallon over an extended period. Lube oil for
the diesel engines was assumed to cost $5.00 per gallon.
Fuel consumption was assumed to vary with the cube of speed for that portion of total fuel
consumption used to propel the boat. The propulsive percentage used in the calculations was
90 percent for monohulls and catamarans and 50 percent for the hovercraft. As shown in Table
6.5, fuel consumption at operating speeds ranged from 25 to 222 gallons per hour. On a
gallons per passenger capacity per hour basis, the 149-passenger catamaran was the most fuel
efficient and the hovercraft was the least.

                                          Table 6.5
                       Fuel Consumption at Operating Speed for Selected
                      Ferryboats and a Hovercraft Ferry (gallons per hour)
Hull type           Passenger Capacity      Operating speed (knots)     Fuel consumption (gph)
Monohull                     24                       25                          25
Hovercraft                   20                       40                          27
Catamaran                    34                       30                          36
Catamaran                    75                       40                          120
Catamaran                   149                       33                          222
Source: IBJ Associates




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Maintenance and repair (M&R) costs were assumed to vary with the size of the boat. M&R
costs included normal maintenance, such as painting and machinery preventive maintenance,
as well as major M&R costs, such as drydocking and engine overhauls. Drydocking was
assumed to be on a two-year cycle, and major engine overhauls assumed to be on a four-year
cycle or approximately 15,000 engine hours. Annual M&R costs were estimated to range from
$30,000 to $50,000 per boat.

Annual supplies and equipment costs were also assumed to vary with the size of the boat,
ranging from a low of $2,250 per year to a high of $3,600 per year. Miscellaneous costs of $100
per month also were included in this category.

Three types of marine insurance coverage typically would be carried to operate a ferry service
in Mobile Bay:

   •   Hull & Machinery (H&M) insurance covers accidental damage to the boat itself from risks
       such as collision, grounding, etc.
   •   Protection & Indemnity (P&I) insurance covers any liabilities that arise from injuries to
       crewmembers or passengers or accidental damage to other property.
   •   Pollution insurance contributes to the cost of cleaning up fuel or oil spills that could
       endanger the environment.

Each of the three types of insurance would provide the level of coverage and have the
limitations specified in the policies. H&M insurance was estimated to cost between 1.6 and 2.2
percent of each boat’s capital cost, with a fleet reduction to 1.0 to 1.6 percent for additional
boats. P&I and pollution insurance was estimated to have an annual cost ranging from $8,400
to $18,000 per boat, depending on size, speed, and passenger capacity.

Management of the ferry services could be provided by a public agency or contract operator.
Staffing requirements would be limited, especially during the early years of operation. Thus, it
was assumed that management costs would be based on a percentage of operation costs,
which, in turn, are an indication of the scope of the operation. During the initial operating period,
it was assumed that management costs would be equivalent to 20 percent of total non-fuel
operating costs.

Marketing and promotion could be handled either by the entity managing operations or by a
marketing company contracted to implement specific, approved plans. In either case, the
strategy would be designed to use relatively low-cost methods to make residents and visitors
aware of the ferry. As a starting point, the name of the ferry service and the color of the boats
should be distinctive and attractive, and create a positive impression on potential users.

Ticketing generally would be handled on the boats. Multi-ride ticket books, discount tickets
(e.g., groups, students, seniors), and promotional tickets would be available in an office at the
ferry’s Mobile Landing terminal.

Security has increased in importance since the traumatic events of 9/11. Current regulations
will require fencing and controls that limit unauthorized access to the terminals or boats. No
additional operating costs were included specifically for security, but it is possible that such
costs will be incurred in the future.



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                                               Passenger Ferry Service Summary Report



Table 6.6 presents a comparison of operating costs per hour for four ferryboats and the
hovercraft. The 149-passenger catamaran has the highest hourly costs and the 24-passenger
monohull has the lowest. However, when passenger capacity is considered, the large 149-
passenger catamaran has the lowest hourly cost per unit of passenger capacity (equivalent to
per passenger costs at full utilization).

Finally, when both passenger capacity and speed are considered, the 149-passenger
catamaran also produces the lowest cost per passenger mile at full utilization. In fact, using that
comprehensive measure, the three catamarans provide the lowest costs.

                                        Table 6.6
                 Average Operating Costs per Hour for Selected Ferryboats

                                                        Operating Costs per Hour
                                  Hovercraft     Monohull     Catamaran     Catamaran    Catamaran
Description                        20 Pass.       24 Pass.      34 Pass.     75 Pass.     149 Pass.
Crew cost                           $28.67         $20.27       $20.27        $42.50       $62.77
Boat cost**                         $28.06         $10.63       $14.05        $20.03       $16.68
Fuel and Lube cost                  $33.85         $19.02       $25.29        $75.28       $146.08
Management fee (20%)                $11.35         $6.18         $6.86        $12.51       $15.89
Total Operating Costs              $101.93         $56.10       $66.47        $150.32      $241.42
Op. Cost/Passenger*                 $5.10          $2.34         $1.96         $2.00           $1.62
Op. Cost/Pass/Mile*                 $0.127         $0.094       $0.065        $0.050       $0.049
                                            Percentage Distribution of Total Operating Costs
Crew cost                           28.1%          36.1%         30.5%        28.3%        26.0%
Boat cost                           27.5%          18.9%         21.1%        13.3%            6.9%
Fuel and Lube cost                  33.2%          33.9%         38.0%        50.1%        60.5%
Management fee (20%)                11.1%          11.0%         10.3%         8.3%            6.6%
Total Operating Costs                 100.0%     100.0%         100.0%      100.0%         100.0%
Source: IBJ Associates
Note (*): Calculations are based on passenger capacity, which assumes 100% utilization
Note (**) Capital costs are not included

It is important to recognize the substantial impact of utilization on such measures. On boats
having similar characteristics but differing in size, the boat achieving the highest capacity
utilization will typically realize the lowest cost per passenger. Table 6.7 provides an example,
drawn from the preceding table. At full utilization, the 149-passenger catamaran has a cost per
passenger mile of $0.049. That cost is less than half the $0.094 cost of the 24-passenger
monohull ferry. However, if the 149-passenger ferry can attain only 25 percent capacity
utilization, its cost per passenger-mile would increase to $0.196, which is 109 percent higher
than the monohull ferry’s cost at full utilization. Thus, the size of the potential market and the
distribution of passengers by sailing will be very important factors in determining the proper
sized boat to serve a given route.




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                                      Table 6.7
        Operating Cost per Passenger-Mile at Different Capacity Utilization Levels

                                      Type and Passenger Capacity of Ferryboat
            Passenger
             Capacity             Monohull             Catamaran           Catamaran
            Utilization         (24 Passenger         (75 Passenger      (149 Passenger
                                  Capacity)             Capacity)           Capacity)
              100%                 $0.094                $0.050              $0.049
               50%                 $0.188                $0.100              $0.098
              25%                  $0.376                $0.200              $0.196
       Source: IBJ Associates

Other factors are important determinants of boat size, including:

   •   Maximum passenger loads likely given seasonal, day-of-the-week, and time-of-day
       variations in ridership demand
   •   Potential market growth that will require additional capacity
   •   Flexibility to operate a boat on different routes, with different utilization levels
   •   Flexibility to use a boat for charters or cruises
Associated Costs
In addition to the ferry service capital and operating cost estimates, the associated costs for
providing complementary landside transit were also developed. The Baldwin Rural Area
Transportation System (BRATS) is the current public transit provider in Baldwin County. Their
services are primarily demand response and subscription in nature. Although BRATS currently
operates a relatively large number of vehicles, they indicated that implementation of new transit
services to support ferry services must be accomplished through the addition of dedicated
capital and operating resources. The initial Mobile-Fairhope ferry service would require an
additional transit vehicle at an estimated capital cost of $100,000. This vehicle would be used
to provide shuttle service between the pier and downtown Fairhope areas. If service operated
every 30 minutes, from 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM on weekdays and from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM on
Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays the estimated annual operating cost would be approximately
$150,000. This does not include any offset that could be derived from passenger fares or private
participation. Adjustments to the operating hours could be made depending on funding
availability and experience with travel market need and demand.             Should scheduled or
subscription ferry service be initiated to Gulf Shores, an additional vehicle and operating funds
would be required to implement regular transit service. The potential for private sector providers
to meet ferry services was also considered. Consideration could be given to implementing a
call system from the Maritime Center to arrange for “call ahead” service through designated
providers. There are currently two taxi providers in the Eastern Shore and Gulf Shores areas
who might be interested in exploring potential transportation opportunities resulting from ferry
passengers.
Metro Transit plans to extend Moda! service to the Mobile Landing area to coincide with the new
Maritime Center and cruise ship terminal. Moda! not only provides shuttle service within the
downtown area, but also provides access to other Metro Transit routes and services.




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  7 Ferry Recommendations – Initial Service
The study results provided clear indication of the feasibility for establishing ferry service in
Mobile Bay. The details of service implementation will be further developed in subsequent
documentation. Service parameters, describing general operations of the first routes to connect
Mobile with Fairhope, Gulf Shores, and Point Clear, are outlined in this section.

Ferry Services

Initial service would be implemented between Mobile and Fairhope. Service would be provided
on weekdays between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM with 30-minute peak and hourly off-peak
frequencies. Service frequencies of one to two hours would be provided on weekends between
7:00 AM and 8:00 PM. With the establishment of a Gulf Shores terminal, a range of services,
such as scheduled, subscription, and special excursions, could be established depending on
capacity and funding availability. Limited service could also be initially established to an existing
facility in Point Clear.

Ferryboats

Three high-speed, aluminum-hulled catamaran ferryboats, providing 75-passenger capacity, 40-
knot average speed, ADA accessibility, and on-board restroom and snack/beverage service, are
required to provide the described service.

Terminals

The initial development of terminals would include Fairhope and Gulf Shores, in addition to
Mobile Landing. After initial service implementation, additional terminal development would next
be at Point Clear, Fowl River, and Daphne.

Costs

The ferryboats will cost approximately $2.2 million each to build. Since at least two boats will be
required, and three are recommended, total boat costs will be between $4.4 and $6.6 million.
The cost to construct two terminals in Fairhope (Long Pier) and Gulf Shores is estimated to total
$871,000. The cost of a transit vehicle to provide shuttle service within the Fairhope area was
included at a $100,000 cost.

It is important to note that capital cost subsidies through federal grants are anticipated be
available to partially or fully offset capital costs, both for ferryboats and terminals. The
estimated capital costs for terminals, vessels, and a transit vehicle are summarized in Table 7.1.




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                                          Table 7.1
               Estimated Capital Costs for Initial Mobile-Fairhope Ferry Service

             Category                                Three-boat Fleet Two-boat Fleet
             Terminal, Vessel, and Vehicle Cost          $7,600,000          $5,400,000
             Less 80% Federal Grants                     $6,100,000          $4,300,000
             Other Sources                               $1,500,000          $1,100,000
            Source: IBJ Associates

Annual operating costs included:

   •    Crew wages, fringe benefits, and employer taxes
   •    Boat costs (insurance, maintenance & repair, supplies, and miscellaneous costs)
   •    Voyage costs (including fuel and lube oil costs)
   •    Management fees (assumed to be equal to 20 percent of non-fuel operating costs)

Table 7.2 compares the annual operating costs incurred by a three-boat and a two-boat fleet,
totaling $1.5 million and $1.2 million, respectively.

                                        Table 7.2
       Estimated Annual Operating Statement for Initial Mobile-Fairhope Ferry Service

             Item description                            Three-boat Fleet   Two-boat Fleet
                                                Income
             Fare receipts, commuter                            $680,400        $510,300
             Fare receipts, non-commuter                        $289,658        $246,209
             Groups, charters, misc.                             $25,000         $10,000
             Total Income                                       $995,058        $766,509
                                           Operating Expenses
             Crew wages                                         $582,137        $496,448
             Annual boat costs                                  $252,420        $168,280
             Voyage costs (fuel)                                $498,161        $436,046
             Management fees (20% of non-fuel OpCst)            $166,911        $132,946
             Total Operating Expenses                       $1,499,629        $1,233,720
                                            Operating Deficit
             Annual Operating Deficit                        ($504,571)          ($467,211)
             Source: IBJA Associates
             Note: A full service scheduled Fairhope shuttle operation is estimated to have an annual
             operating cost of $150,000. During early stages of ferry service implementation, the most
             advantageous approach (public and/or private) to providing shuttle service would need to be
             determined.




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Fare receipts for commuters were assumed to be 25 percent less with two boats than with
three. With only two boats, peak headways would be approximately 40 minutes rather than the
30 minutes provided with three boats in operation. Having “rolling” departure times would be
somewhat less attractive to riders, and the two boats would not be able to make as many
sailings during peak hours as three boats.

Estimated Revenues

The majority of revenues would be derived from farebox receipts. In addition, a small amount of
revenue could be earned from charters, cruises, and ancillary activities. Three categories of
riders were considered: commuters, non-commuter residents, and visitors. Fares were
assumed to be at the following levels:

   Rider Category                         Fare

   Commuter (multi-ride book)            $4.50
   Resident (multi-ride book)            $5.00
   Visitor                               $6.00

Once the initial service stabilizes, it is expected that an average of 300 commuters would
generate 600 one-way rider-trips per day, totaling 150,000 one-way rider-trips per year.

It was also assumed that non-commuters would ride during non-commuting hours and be
evenly represented by residents and visitors. Thus, the average non-commuting fare earned
would be $5.50.

Once service is initiated, it is anticipated that demand will follow for non-commuter ridership.
Consequently, it was conservatively estimated that 10 percent of capacity would be utilized
during non-commuter hours. That level of non-commuter ridership would produce a total of
52,725 one-way rider-trips per year.

Potential Annual Deficit

As indicated in Table 7.2, the initial ferry service proposed for Mobile Bay would require an
annual operating subsidy of about $505,000 with a three-boat fleet. Initiating the service with
only two boats would reduce the operating subsidy required by about $38,000 per year, but it
also would reduce operating flexibility, require less attractive scheduling (40-minute headways
rather than 30-minute headways), and increase the risk of service disruptions due to mechanical
problems or adverse weather.

The potential weekday and weekend/holiday schedules on which the Income Statement is
based are included in Appendix E.

Potential Funding Sources

There are a variety of funding sources to support ferry services. Funding is available from
public and private sources, both federal and non-federal, for construction or purchase of ferries
and terminals. Some funding can be used to support operations.



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Federal sources are primarily the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit
Administration (FTA), but other federal agencies can provide matching grants or loan
guarantees. FHWA criteria to use Federal-Aid Highway Funds for ferryboat and terminal
improvement projects concern the service’s location, ownership, public benefit, operating
authority, fare controls, and cost sharing. The ferry must operate in U.S. states and its
territories, or between any state and Canada. The system can be publicly owned, publicly
operated (even if privately owned), or majority publicly owned. The ferry service should provide
substantial public benefits. The operating authority for a ferry facility must be under the control
of a public entity. Fares should also be under the control of a public entity, where all revenues
are applied to operational costs, which can include a reasonable rate of return for a privately-
operated toll ferry. FHWA will pay up to 80 percent of the capital cost, with the balance paid by
a state or local entity or with private contributions.

FHWA has three relevant funding programs:

   •   National Highway System Funds are for improvements to the designated National
       Highway System. A funded ferry terminal must provide a link for motor vehicles within
       the system and be a substitute for a tunnel or bridge. This funding is not available for
       purchasing ferryboats.
   •   Surface Transportation Program Funds are to assist Federal Aid Highways on non-
       interstate routes. They can be used for terminals and vehicular ferries. Passenger-only
       ferry systems can also access these funds, but are administered by the Federal Transit
       Authority (FTA).
   •   Ferry Boat Discretionary Funds are designed for vehicular and passenger-only ferry and
       terminal construction. Most of the limited funding is set aside for projects in Alaska,
       Washington, and New Jersey, with the balance earmarked in Congress for specific
       projects.

FTA has five funding programs that can be used for ferry projects:

   •   Urbanized Area Formula Grants are for transportation management areas with
       populations of 200,000 or more. They provide operating assistance as well as capital
       project funding.
   •   The Nonurbanized Area Formula Grants program is similar, but for less populated areas.
   •   Fixed Guideway Urbanization Grants, despite their name, can also be used for ferryboat
       purchases or improvements, but not for operating expenses. The grants can be used to
       modernize or improve transit systems.
   •   New Starts Grants also apply to ferryboats for the capital costs of a new or expanded
       service. Funds can be used for a new project to develop a transit corridor or for an
       extension of an existing service.
   •   Job Access and Reverse Commute Grants can be used for capital or operating costs to
       start new ferry services for welfare recipients and other low-income individuals, as well
       as to transport workers to suburban job sites.

Most U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) sources require matching funds from states
and localities, but allow matches from other federal programs that support transportation needs.




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Generally, state funding sources come from legislatures. Local programs and funding can be
used as in-kind matches for federal funds. Public, public-nonprofit, and public-private
partnerships are often useful sources. Private and employer-based funding can be linked to
governmental tax benefits.

Private commercial sources consist of traditional financial institutions like major banks, pension
funds, insurance companies, local and regional banks, and private investors. Lenders who
have financed ferry projects include Caterpillar Financial Services Corp., CitiCapital Commercial
Corp., and GE Capital Commercial Equipment Financing.

U.S. Maritime Administration’s Federal Ship Financing Program (Title XI) guarantees private
sector debt financing for U.S. built ferries and lowers the cost of capital. It is not a direct loan
program, but it provides a means to guarantee that funds borrowed from commercial sources
will be paid back to the lenders. This reduces the interest cost of the borrowed capital.

In Alabama, local governments use property, gasoline, sales, and other taxes to supplement
transportation expenses. Municipal governments may adopt local option sales taxes by
ordinance, while counties must obtain legislative authorization for adoption of a sales tax. As
new transit services such as passenger ferry routes are implemented, a source of dedicated
local funds must be established to provide local match to capital costs and offset deficits
between the system operating costs and associated revenues.

Sales tax rates vary between jurisdictions. Since most of the funds paying for the City of
Mobile’s business-type activity are derived from the nine percent sales tax, it is unlikely that an
increase in the tax rate would be a feasible source for a ferry system operating subsidy.
However, the amount of sales has been rising, and some of the resulting growth in sales tax
revenue could be allocated to support ferry services, depending on relative priorities for the use
of any growing tax revenue.

The potential for deriving ferry funding through an increase of the lodgings tax in the City of
Mobile and Baldwin County was evaluated. In fiscal year 2003, the City of Mobile generated
approximately $2,950,000 from a six percent lodgings tax, and Baldwin County generated
$3,948,000 from a two percent lodgings tax. Assuming similar conditions and usage of City of
Mobile lodging, a one percent increase in the lodgings tax has the potential to generate nearly
$500,000 per year. Baldwin County, which draws from a much larger pool, could collect nearly
$1,000,000 per year with a one-half percent increase in the lodgings tax.

In Alabama, cities have more control over increasing their local lodging tax rate whereas the
counties must go through the state legislature to get an increase in the lodgings tax. Currently,
the revenues generated in Baldwin County are dedicated to the Gulf Coast Convention and
Visitor’s Bureau. The City of Mobile’s revenues are directed into their general fund and
enterprise fund. To support ferry operations with lodgings tax revenues, it may be relatively
easier for the cities with ferry terminals to increase their lodgings tax than Baldwin County.
Eastern Shore cities currently collecting a lodging tax are Daphne (four percent), Fairhope (four
percent), and Gulf Shores (five percent). Ultimately, if this type of funding mechanism were
used, each participating jurisdiction would need to dedicate a percentage of the tax revenues to
the authority operating the ferry service.




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