Title

DISABLED ACCESS TO FERRY TRANSIT: NEW YORK-NEW JERSEY HARBOR PRIVATE FERRIES

Authors

D S. Chapman

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2004

Subject Area

planning - standards, policy - disability, place - urban, mode - ferry

Keywords

Urban transit, Standards, Recommendations, Private sector, Private enterprise, Physically handicapped persons, People with disabilities, Passenger ships, New York Harbor, Handicapped persons, Guidelines, Ferries, Disabled persons, Accessibility

Abstract

Passenger ferries in the New York-New Jersey Harbor have proliferated in recent years and now carry almost 67,000 passengers each day, with more than 50 vessels serving 39 routes. With 1.6 million disabled individuals in New York City alone, accessibility is a key concern. The U.S. Access Board, a federal agency tasked with developing accessibility standards, is in the process of developing accessibility standards for passenger vessels. A milestone in this process was reached with the December 2000 publication of recommended vessel accessibility guidelines by the board's Passenger Vessel Access Advisory Committee (PVAAC), an assembly of representatives from the disabled community and the passenger vessel industry. The PVAAC recommendations are applied to the smallest vessel in the New York-New Jersey Harbor private transit ferry fleet, providing insights into the design challenges of small passenger vessel accessibility. The intention is to heighten the awareness of such design challenges among the disabled, vessel operators, and marine designers and to spur the development of innovative solutions.