Frog Ferry Study Details Costs Of Service

Planners of a passenger ferry service from Vancouver to Oregon City have released details of a study that shows what it might cost.

Friends of Frog Ferry are developing the plans.

The study estimates capital costs at $40 million and operation costs at $6.8 million. A trip from Vancouver to downtown Portland would take 55 minutes.

Tickets would cost $5 for most people and $3 for honored passengers. Tickets would cover 45% of the operating costs. The additional $2.5 million would need to be covered by an annual subsidy. The actual cost per wide would be $8.50.

They expect 3,000 people a day would ride the ferry.

The proposed route includes nine proposed stops from Vancouver to Oregon City, and the plan outlines how the Willamette River differs significantly upriver (Willamette Falls to Portland’s South Waterfront) from downriver (Portland’s South Waterfront to Vancouver).

Two sizes of low-profile and low-wake vessels are recommended, varying in capacity from 70-100 passengers. The ferry service would focus on serving commuters in the morning and evening with “on-demand” services to locations such as OMSI or the Duckworth Dock near the Moda Center and Oregon Convention Center.

The next steps are to take the findings to apply for funding opportunities and an operational plan. Key needs include:

• Secure a public agency sponsor for federal funding

• Secure funding for a Triple Bottom Line and Ridership Demand Report

• Plan and fund a pilot project, to start in 2022. Looking for partners and sponsors

“We’ve been encouraged by the amazing interest and support we’ve received from a broad cross section of people,” said Susan Bladholm, Founder and President of Friends of Frog Ferry. “It’s especially gratifying to see that from a planning and operational perspective, a ferry service is feasible. Now we need to figure out how to move this effort forward, working with our local public agencies, to ensure the ferry is accessible and affordable to all residents.”

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