Design and evaluation of passenger ferry routes

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - route design, economics - appraisal/evaluation, mode - ferry


This article introduces a planning framework for improving and best utilizing existing water and ferry resources. It presents an analysis framework and formulation for designing and evaluating passenger ferry routes. The motivation for this work emanates from problems encountered by the ferry service in Hong Kong, including the continuous loss in ferry patronage. This loss is believed to be caused by the ferry’s relatively poor level of service and intense competition from more attractive alternatives. The article reports on an evaluation and design methodology for the entire passenger ferry network, consisting of a framework with operational objective functions that takes into account passengers, operator, and community interests. This framework considers both the evaluation of existing ferry routes and the design of new ones. The methodology presented combines the philosophy of mathematical programming approaches and decision-making techniques, allowing the user to select an efficient solution from a number of alternatives. The evaluation procedure established provides practical and measurable criteria for evaluating the “goodness” of each route and for comparison between sets of routes at the network level.


Permission to publish the abstract given by the Journal of Public Transportation.