402-2023

Resolution

Accept the Operational Feasibility Study for Regional Ferry Service, include a Passenger Ferry Pilot Project in the 2023 Regional Transportation Plan financially constrained project list, and endorse the City's 2023 Regional Transportation Plan Project List Submittal

Referred

WHEREAS, the Operational Feasibility Study (“Study”) for Regional Ferry Service was completed in 2020 by Friends of Frog Ferry with technical consultation by Maritime Consulting Partners and Flowing Solutions; and

WHEREAS, the Study provides an objective review of all major functional requirements of a successful regional ferry service concept.

WHEREAS, after defining the vision and goals established by the Friends of Frog Ferry, the study team sought to collect all relevant data and information concerning the intended ferry service, perform an analysis and identify potential challenges and opportunities. Where challenges or barriers exist, the team provides potential solutions or mitigating strategies; and

WHEREAS, the Study finds “The simple answer to the question of operational feasibility is a confident Yes”; and

WHEREAS, Friends of Frog Ferry has engaged in extensive outreach to neighborhood associations, activist groups, Black, Indigenous, and people of color coalitions, elected leaders, and business leaders, and has generated nine volunteer committees and more than 1,700 supporters and stakeholders.

WHEREAS, Friends of Frog Ferry estimates that more than $7 million in pro bono professional services have been given to help advance the passenger ferry initiative; and

WHEREAS, to be eligible to receive federal funding for a passenger ferry service pilot, the project must be adopted in the Regional Transportation Plan’s financially constrained project list; and

WHEREAS, for the Pilot to be eligible for inclusion in the Regional Transportation Plan’s project list, the study must be formally accepted by City Council as all projects submitted to the Regional Transportation Plan must come from adopted plans, studies or strategies that were developed through a public process with opportunities for public input; and

WHEREAS, the City of Portland developed a draft project list for inclusion in the 2023 Regional Transportation Plan, aligned with Metro requirements and local, state, and federal transportation funding forecasted to be available; and

WHEREAS, a Passenger Ferry Pilot from Cathedral Park to Riverplace is included in the City’s draft project list for the 2023 Regional Transportation Plan, including the project description “ferry dock reinforcement/railings, boat build/lease to enable ferry service pilot with FTA Passenger Ferry Grant Program support” and a cost of $12,000,000 reflecting updated cost estimates that conform to Metro criteria; and

WHEREAS, the City of Portland attests commitment to continued equitable engagement as any work on the passenger ferry pilot project and future planning on the regional ferry concept moves forward; and

WHEREAS, as the governing agency responsible for the Regional Transportation Plan, Metro will lead public involvement informing the ultimate decision-making on the 2023 Regional Transportation Plan financially constrained project list by the Metro Council and Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT)

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Portland accepts the Operational Feasibility Study for Regional Ferry Service attached as Exhibit A; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that City Council directs staff to include a Passenger Ferry Pilot Project in the near term financially constrained subset of the 2023 Regional Transportation Plan project list submittal to Metro attached as Exhibit B; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that PBOT staff is directed to support equitable engagement in the Project and future planning as the regional ferry concept moves forward.

Documents and Exhibits

Impact Statement

Purpose of Proposed Legislation and Background Information

  • Metro is leading a process to update the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), which guides investments for all forms of travel and the movement of goods and freight throughout the Portland metropolitan region. The plan identifies current and future transportation needs, investments needed to meet those needs and what funds the region expects to have available to over the next 25 years to make those investments a reality.
     
  • An important element of the RTP is the projects list, where Metro-represented agencies are asked to submit a list of projects, including a subset of a “constrained” list of projects that must match jurisdictional budget forecasting and comply with Metro’s acceptance criteria.
     
  • For a project to be eligible for state and federal funding, it needs to be on the RTP’s constrained projects list.
     
  • In order for a project to be eligible for inclusion in the RTP’s projects list (including the constrained list), it needs to be developed with public input from a plan or study that has been adopted/ accepted formally by the jurisdiction (in Portland’s case, City Council).
     
  • The draft projects list that Portland submitted to Metro for the RTP includes a Passenger Ferry Pilot on the constrained list with the project description “ferry dock reinforcement/railings, boat build/lease to enable ferry service pilot with FTA Passenger Ferry Grant Program support” and a cost of $12,000,000 reflecting updated estimates that conform to Metro criteria.
     
  • The Passenger Ferry Pilot project came from the results in the Operational Feasibility Study for Regional Ferry Service, which has not yet been accepted formally by City Council. Accepting the study will allow the Passenger Ferry Pilot project to be included in the 2023 RTP projects list and eligible for the FTA Passenger Ferry Grant and other state grants when placed on the constrained list.

Financial and Budgetary Impacts

  • The act of accepting the study and including the project in the RTP’s constrained list does not initiate a financial commitment or action. Applications for state or federal grants to fund any City of Portland project, including those in the RTP, are still required to go to City Council for approval.
     
  • The Passenger Ferry Pilot is in the “Tier 1” constrained projects list for near-term investment priority (2023-2030) given the City’s current funding outlook, which means at a cost of $12,000,000, it makes up less than 2% of the $635,000,000 funding forecast in this category.
     
  • Within the timeframe of 2023-2030, the City could anticipate submitting for grants for this project at least once, whether or not it is successful, given the range of priorities that also exist, and to preserve effective use of staff time, which costs the bureau.
     
  • Federal grant funds for the ferry pilot are intended to be matched by non-City funds including private donations, in-kind staff support from the non-profit Friends of Frog Ferry, and cash contributions from Oregon’s Statewide Transit Improvement Funds. The federal share is statutorily not to exceed 80 percent of the net project cost for capital expenditures.
  • The resolution directs staff to support equitable engagement in the Project and future planning as the regional ferry concept moves forward. These costs would be estimated and included in any grant requests.

Community Impacts and Community Involvement

  • Frog Ferry reports that they have engaged in extensive outreach to neighborhood associations, activist groups, BIPOC coalitions, elected leaders, business leaders and has generated nine volunteer committees and more than 1,700 supporters and stakeholders. Friends of Frog Ferry estimates that more than $7 million in pro bono professional services have been given to the passenger ferry initiative.
     
  • The resolution directs staff to support equitable engagement in the Project and future planning as the regional ferry concept moves forward.

100% Renewable Goal

This action does not increase or decrease the City’s total energy use.

Budget Office Financial Impact Analysis

Acceptance of the Operational Feasibility Study for Regional Ferry Service does not commit resources and has no fiscal impact. There is no other dedicated resource supporting any project for a regional ferry in the City’s budget and this legislation does direct staff to include a pilot project in the FY 2023 Regional Transportation Plan submission to Metro. 

Document History

Item 402 Time Certain in May 24, 2023 Council Agenda

City Council

Referred to Commissioner of Public Safety

Contact

Requested Agenda Type

Time Certain

Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date
Requested Start Time
10:05 am
Time Requested
20 minutes
Confirmed Time Certain