WI: Hovercraft Passenger Ferries on the Great Lakes and Mississippi River System?

What pod(s) are needed to make Hovercraft Passenger Ferries a common form of public and private transportation on the North American Great Lakes and Mississippi River System Is this even possible? What kind of design and function would specifically be needed for American waterways? How does this change the existing transportation networks in the United States and Canada?
Side wall hover craft as low draught high speed ferries had some success elsewhere, Hong Kong to Macau, comes to mind. So for highspeed commuting services these might be a possible solution.

This is a Seaspeed one working the Portsmouth to Ryde Pier route sometime in the late 60's or early 70's
It may well be impossible.
Describes the history of the Spirit of Ontario high speed catamaran ferry between Toronto and Rochester, and how they couldn't make it work.
Hovercraft are even more expensive to operate.

If you can't make a cheaper service run between two cities of 1million+, a more expensive service on less dense routes certainly won't work.

As for up and down the Mississippi, there's a thing called 'trains'. Faster and much, much cheaper.


On the Mississippi, there's a mega-ton of both commercial and recreational boat traffic to work around. In the upper half of the river north of St Louis, there are 29 locks to pass through between Granite City, Illinois, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Some stretches of that upper part of the river have been so channelized that the navigable part is a few hundred yards wide. It can get congested at times.


Would an area with locks not be the best for a hovercraft to beat boats as it can just use a ramp to get past them?
In most cases, I think any ramp would need to replace a roller gate, and they're relatively narrow between the piers. Plausible, but I think unlikely. Those roller gates are a critical element of the flood control structure.


*edit* FWIW, All of the individual lock and dams were originally built in the 1930's and extensively maintained since, but they're still approaching 90 years old....
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Would license building then using these babies suffice . . . . the SR -N /4?

. . . .especially if they produced larger versions?

Much obliged!
Would license building then using these babies suffice . . . . the SR -N /4?

. . . .especially if they produced larger versions?
I don't think as hovercraft are simply far to cool, but really not very useful. They have massive noise and fuel costs, only defence & rescue (and some racing) really use them (apart from one IOW link) and that's due to them not caring about cost much and wanting to move fast in places that nothing else can?