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Pricing policy for the Washington State Ferry System


This study considers how prices are first set in the private sector using simple, micro-economic models. Second, it considers how prices should be set in the public sector using the theoretical framework of user charges in public finances. Third, we look at how prices are established in the transportation literature, with the highway transportation literature being considered the more relevant. Then how prices are determined in Washington's transportation system, in general, and the ferry system in specific were analyzed. Empirical evidence on Washington's ferry system fares and subsidies were studied as was evidence on the price elasticity of demand for various transportation services. Finally, the impacts of changing the price level for ferry services was considered as were a number of recommendations for pricing policy changes.


  • Date Published: February, 1987
  • Publication Number: WA-RD 100.1
  • Last Modified: August 23, 2007
  • Authors: Robert E. Berney, Nancy Wallace.
  • Originator: Washington State University. Dept. of Economics.
  • # of Pages: 118 p., 2,401 KB (PDF)
  • Subject: Ferry service, Economic impacts, Econometric models, Finance, Inland water transportation, Microeconomics, Policy, Pricing, Recommendations, Operating subsidies, User charges.
  • Keywords: Pricing policy, user charges, ferry systems, transporting pricing, price elasticity of demand, transportation subsidies, Washington (State)
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This abstract was last modified April 29, 2008