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Modular Passenger Barge
A Modular inter system Passenger Barge in common usage.
Caption
ARMAMENT:
None
*Some Owners May retrofit Point Defense systems and light cannons.

COMPLIMENT:
5-15 Depending on model and variant, typically civilian crewed often with high turn over rates. The Crew compartments are usually bunks and billets, very reminiscent of the cramped quarters on merchant fishing and tramp cargo vessels of the 20th century. All crew share lavatory facilities, and shower facilities. Each crewman is allotted enough space for one foot locker of personnel effects and clothing. A single galley serves the vessel, and often doubles as the recreation room when not serving meals. The vessels rarely maintain launches or Shuttles, and are reliant on Hard Dock or Manual EVA for loading and unloading of personnel, supplies, or cargo. A few Construction and Utility A.P.U.s are maintained for in-flight maintenance purposes and some cargo transfer. Facilities and accommodations are limited on these vessels as the intended deployment was for a few days at a time - however it is become almost commonplace for owners and operators to push these barges and the crews relentlessly for weeks at a time, often with only a 24 to 48 hour turnaround for refueling and resupplying between runs. While there are old spacers that may have been with a ship or a captain for years, these long rotations and close living conditions can often be hard on the uninitiated. As a result, cargo barges often have to replace several crew with each port. Fortunately there is no shortage of potential crew who may not otherwise be able to afford the expense of space travel and are willing to trade labor for passage.


HISTORY:
There is no shortage of demand for small cargo transport vessels to ferry supplies of all shapes and sizes between orbitals, planets, or ships in system. Such small cargo vessels come in a large variety of shapes and c;asses, some specialized for specific uses and cargos.The Hercules Shipyards Modular Transports have managed to steadily gain increasing favor among crews, captains, and cargo lines in the market - so much so that they have spawned numerous knock offs and imitators from rival manufacturers. The Hercules Modular Cargo Barges are durable, inexpensive, and easily retrofitted for multiple uses.
The Hercules Shipyards Modular Passenger Barge is an extensive refit of their famous Modular Transport. Often referred to a the "P" variant, the Modular Passenger Barge is a dedicated people mover designed to ferry passengers from orbital to orbital, ship to shore, colony to colony. Though all of the Modular Passenger Barges share the same outward physical structure, there are many significant variations and styles for the interior design that are dictated by intended use. The most basic configuration of the Passenger Barge is configured for mass transport of passengers between stations, orbitals, and low gravity colonies (e.g Lunar or asteroid) and can best be compared to a Ferry, double decker bus, or passenger airplane - the focus is on no-frills seating, with limited cargo capacity for luggage. In this most basic configuration, the Modular Passenger Barges are rated for approximately 1500 passengers in simple airplane style reclining seats - these may offer limited beverage or meal service for flights expected to take more than four hours, and have an observation deck and simple recreational deck for first class passengers. Such configurations are most often employed by system transit authorities or station operational authorities. The more common configuration of the Modular Passenger Liner is outfitted less for maximized capacity, and more for comfort and convenience, with state rooms and cabins based on class of passage booked, and usual caters to a much more modest 150-200 passengers (based on actual configuration). These "Yacht" style configurations often cruise at a more leisurely pace and can be used either for system tours, more luxurious travel accommodations, or by private owners as personal cruisers. There are almost no official versions of the Modular Passenger Barge equipped for interstellar operations (any such craft are solely privately owned and custom modified by the owners) and so these will almost never be encountered in deep space.
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