Image of the Week: Ferry City

Where: Eminönü from Galata Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey
When: January 2005
What: Istanbul's ferries: (from left to right) 2 vapeurs (steamers), a tourist boat, a IDO catamaran. The New Mosque is to the right.
Comment: Istanbul is the greatest ferry city in the world.
Related Posts: Great Harbor Matchups: Golden Horn vs. Golden Gate, A Bridge Too Tall

There's a nice article on HuffPo about Istanbulites riding ferries and being very civilized. "Istanbul's Lucky Commuters"

By my calculations, and I can't find the source right now, the ferry SYSTEMS with the highest ridership in the world are:

1. Istanbul
This includes ferries crossing the Sea of Marmara

2. Hong Kong
Includes Star Ferry and jet boats to Macau and other destinations

3. Washington State Ferries
Includes Pugeot Sound destinations far beyond Seattle and may not have a Seattle origin or destination.

Honorable Mentions go to:
Staten Island Ferry (New York City)
Sydney, Australia
BC Ferries, British Columbia, Canada

In most of these cases, there is either a no highway and/or rail connecting the two destinations, or such a route is very circuitous or clogged with road traffic that ferries are competitive. In San Francisco, the main reason for the Larkspur Ferry's success is that the drive across the Golden Gate is stymied by slow street driving to get to Downtown San Francisco. Although a direct highway links Vallejo and SF, the combination of distance and highway congestion make the Vallejo Ferry competitive.

If and when I find the ridership numbers for each system, I'll post them on the blog.


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