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Thread: Someone please start a ferry service!

  1. #1
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    Someone please start a ferry service!


    I really wish someone with a lot of money would start a ferry service from St. Mary's or Calvert County over to the Eastern Shore! So many of us love going over to the beaches, but it takes close to 4 hours to get there since we have to drive up to Annapolis to get across the bay. The bridge up there always has such backups on the weekends too. Having a ferry down this way would alleviate some of that problem and bring more people through our area to spend money on their way over to the Eastern Shore. There is a ferry service from Lewes, DE to Cape May, NJ and has been for years. Why couldn't we do that here?

    I know I'm probably just dreaming that this will ever happen. Every time we drive over to Assateaque we comment on wishing there were a quicker way to get there. I'm sure many of you have thought the same. I guess posting this is my way of seeing if anyone else has this dream.

  2. #2
    #*! boat! Gilligan's Avatar
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    There have been numerous attempts to establish ferry links between southern MD and the eastern shore (Crisfield, for example) as well as with Va's northern neck (near Tappahanock).

    The usual run of uninformed and uneducated NIMBY's present an impenetrable barrier to rational decisions on such services. Same kind of "crew" that keep yapping at Dominion's heels with respect to the Cove Point LNG project. They are out there...always.
    You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. -Frank Zappa

  3. #3
    I doubt there would be enough traffic year around to make this viable. How much would it be worth to you to cut those 4hrs in half ? $129 ? $59?
    The NC State ferries, WA State ferries and Alaska marine highway are all subsidized infrastructure measures. As there are already roads to the eastern shore, there is no reason for MDOT to subsidize a ferry.

  4. #4
    Here are rates from the Long Island ferries between LI and CT. Port Jefferson is 22 miles, Orient Point is about 12. Not subsidised, private company, been in business for as long as I can remember. It is PACKED year round, reservations required.
    https://www.88844ferry.com/Rates.aspx
    A ferry between Western and Eastern shores wouldn't have to run a full schedule all year, maybe 9-10 months with a reduced schedule between Labor Day and Memorial Day. I think you'd be surprised at how man people would head to the Eastern Shore that wouldn't drive it because of the time involved.
    "It must be inordinately taxing to be such a boob."
    The Brain

  5. #5
    #*! boat! Gilligan's Avatar
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    We've been involved in some in depth studies that resulted in some very solid proposals. VDOT in particular had obligated a bunch of money to cover terminal infrastructure.
    You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. -Frank Zappa

  6. #6
    #*! boat! Gilligan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by officeguy View Post
    I doubt there would be enough traffic year around to make this viable. How much would it be worth to you to cut those 4hrs in half ? $129 ? $59?
    The NC State ferries, WA State ferries and Alaska marine highway are all subsidized infrastructure measures. As there are already roads to the eastern shore, there is no reason for MDOT to subsidize a ferry.
    The history of the issue proves otherwise.
    You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. -Frank Zappa

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by GWguy View Post
    Here are rates from the Long Island ferries between LI and CT. Port Jefferson is 22 miles, Orient Point is about 12. Not subsidised, private company, been in business for as long as I can remember. It is PACKED year round, reservations required.
    https://www.88844ferry.com/Rates.aspx
    A ferry between Western and Eastern shores wouldn't have to run a full schedule all year, maybe 9-10 months with a reduced schedule between Labor Day and Memorial Day. I think you'd be surprised at how man people would head to the Eastern Shore that wouldn't drive it because of the time involved.
    I have taken the Bridgeport ferry a number of times when I lived on LI and CT. However, the population of Suffolk county is 1.5mil, the population of Nassau county is 1.35mil. The benefit of the ferry on LI extends to all types of northbound travel, not just seasonal leisure travel. For anyone in northern Calvert or Chuck co, there would be no benefit to a ferry vs. looping around to the bay bridge. The population that could benefit from a eastern shore ferry would be southern calvert and St Marys, together they would be about 1/20th of the population that supports the LI ferries.

    The eastern shore is a leisure destination, there is not much commercial travel between the two relatively sparsely populated areas. Unless there was a way to draw significant commercial traffic (e.g. offer a way for trucks to bypass a bad section of I95), there just wouldn't be a commercial case for it. If there was a way to make money with it, there would already be someone doing it. The state has studied it, studied it again, and again, and again and we still dont have a ferry. It's not all the NIMBYs doing.

  8. #8
    Did you ever think of the other way round? There is limited commercial business because it's too hard to get there? There are huge poultry farms and an huge upcoming in beer crafters and foods. Establish a new route, make it easier to be profitable, and it will get used for more than leisure. New business will flourish.
    "It must be inordinately taxing to be such a boob."
    The Brain

  9. #9
    Registered User CRHS89's Avatar
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    OC tourism used to end at Labor Day but many businesses stay open year round now. More and more people head over on weekends in the off season than years ago.

  10. #10
    Visualize whirled peas Merlin99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by officeguy View Post
    I doubt there would be enough traffic year around to make this viable. How much would it be worth to you to cut those 4hrs in half ? $129 ? $59?
    The NC State ferries, WA State ferries and Alaska marine highway are all subsidized infrastructure measures. As there are already roads to the eastern shore, there is no reason for MDOT to subsidize a ferry.
    I think the navy could do a lit to justify the cost. Several times we've had to take the C-12 to wallops for unscheduled work or meetings. Even more often for one day trips, 4 hours there 4 hours back one hour actual work.
    ‎"I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake"

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