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Ferries are large water crafts (boats) that carry vehicles (and people) from one ferry dock to another. Ferries normally have scheduled sailings and are often run as a part of the highway system.

In some states, ferries are a key part of the roadway system and are hard to avoid. In some areas it is important to have them added to the map because they are sometimes the best option, and in a few cases the only option, to get to a destination.

Not all ferries should be mapped however. The following guidelines should be followed when considering adding a ferry onto the Waze map.

When and when not to add

Ferries that meet any of these conditions should generally not be mapped.

  • Passenger ferries without vehicles
  • Ferries requiring pre-booking
  • Private ferries unavailable to the general public
  • Ferries over two hours in duration

If the ferry does not meet any of the above conditions, it can be added to the map.

If you have any questions about whether the ferry should or should not be mapped, contact your your Regional Coordinator.

Road type

The  • • • • Ferry Road type • • • •   should be used for the segment crossing the waterway. Do not use  Freeway ,  Parking Lot Road , or  Private Road  types. The ferry road type is treated by the Routing Server similarly to a  Minor Highway . The Waze Apps displays a "ferry" icon for routes including a segment with the Ferry Road type.

How to add

The full length of the ferry route and both docking points must be part of your editable area. It may be necessary to ride the ferry with Waze running to add that route to your area.

  1. Turn on the GPS Points Layer to see the ferry's typical path. If no GPS point are visible, it may be OK to simply draw a straight line between the two docks.
  2. Draw a segment from one ferry dock to the other following the GPS points. Name and label the new segment with No City and with the road name of the ferry line. This is often the combined names of both sides of the Ferry. For example: Bainbridge Island - Seattle Ferry.
  3. Draw segments on both loading ramps using the Ferry Road type. This gives some separation from the ferry and the ferry's slow waiting lines, enabling better routing. Be sure to set the time restrictions on the segment including the first ferry (opening time) and the last ferry (closing time).
  4. Draw a one-way segment connecting the loading ramp segment to the main road on both sides using the Ferry Road type. Label it with the correct city name on each side and No Name in name field. If ferry has multiple exit routes and clear signs then you can label the exit road with the standard "to: X" and "to: Y". Example "to: Seattle" and "to: I-90 / I-5".
  5. Draw another one-way segment connecting the main roads to the loading ramp segment on both sides using the Ferry Road type. Mark is as a toll road if it has a fee in the direction of this segment. It should be labeled with correct city name on each side and "to Bainbridge Island - Seattle Ferry".
Some ferries charge riders going one direction and not the other. The use of one-way segments to and from the loading ramp is only required when the toll is only in one direction. You commonly see this when ferries are going to an Island where the ferry is the only access, then the ferry going to the island is toll road and ferry going to main land is not tolled. Splitting exit and entrance ramps enables this flexibility

Examples of properly mapped ferry docks

Bainbridge IslandNew.png
Seattle DockNew.png