The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced Friday it had awarded more than $45 million in grants to passenger ferry service projects.
The 11 projects will receive money from the FTA’s Passenger Ferry Grant Program. Money from the grants will be used to buy, repair, and modernize ferry boats and ferry boat terminals.
“Passenger ferries offer travelers and commuters in many American communities a safe, efficient, climate-friendly way to get where they need to be,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Thanks to the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, new funding will bring needed improvements to ferry services in America, particularly in rural communities, and help passenger ferries reduce their emissions.”
The Passenger Ferry Grant Program funds projects that support existing passenger ferry service, establish new service or upgrade ferry boats, terminals, and related facilities, as well as assist transit agencies and ferry companies in transitioning to new climate-friendly technologies.
Among the projects funded were $7.7 million for Kitsap Transit in Kitsap County, Washington, to replace a diesel ferry boat with a more environmentally-friendly battery-electric boat and the necessary charging infrastructure to fuel it; $3.4 million for the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) for use in constructing a new zero-emission ferry – the region’s first; and, $3.6 million for the Casco Bay Island Transit District in Portland, Maine to replace an aging passenger ferry with a new diesel-electric hybrid ferry.
“Passenger ferries are a critical form of public transportation in the United States, allowing commuters and others to get to work, school, and medical appointments,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “Funding through the Passenger Ferry Grant program ensures this infrastructure remains safe and dependable for people all over the country.”