The NYC Economic Development Corporation released a report last week indicating strong growth in the cruise ship industry. The report, which summarizes the results of an economic impact study, describes a significant increase in the number of ship visits between 2009 and 2010 and predicts up to 264 ship calls in 2011 involving as many as 645,000 passengers.
Besides foretelling an increase in pollution, these figures make it abundantly clear that providing shore power for visiting ships should be well within reach financially. Based on an article presented on the C40 Cities website, for cruise ships berthed in Seattle, which provides shore power, running cost per call was approximately $5,000. Granted, electric rates are lower in the Northwest. But, using these numbers, the projected 264 calls in NY would cost a total of $1.32M. That works out to about $2.05 per projected passenger. Even if the cost was 5x higher, it would total about $10 per passenger.
This is such a small amount of money that it is clear that there can be no reasonable objection to a surcharge to enable shore power. After all, no one has to take a cruise - but the residents of NYC have to live with the pollution.