FHWA awards $172.2 million in FY 2022 ferry service funding

Written by Nick Blenkey
Pete Buttigieg announces ferry service funding grants

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The funding we are announcing today will continue and enhance ferry service for communities across the country.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration today announced $172.2 million in Fiscal Year 2022 formula funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to 35 states and three territories to improve ferry service and provide more travel options.

Under the Biden administration, funding for ferry service has been at historic levels to support multimodal transportation services, including the recently announced availability of $300 million in Federal Transit Administration competitive funding.

“Many Americans rely on ferry service as a primary means of travel, making it a critical connection to jobs, healthcare, and other daily needs,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The funding we are announcing today will continue and enhance ferry service for communities across the country.”


The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $912 million in formula funding over five years through FHWA’s Ferry Boat Program, more than doubling the amount provided under the 2015 FAST Act. It expands eligibility to include ferry maintenance facilities and the purchase of transit vehicles such as buses and shuttles used exclusively to transport passengers as an integral part of an intermodal ferry trip. The funding can also be used for capital improvements to existing ferry operations, which could increase the number of riders, relieve congestion, or address environmental or significant operational concerns.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has substantially increased funding for ferry boats to help improve the quality of life and make it easier for commuters to get to their destinations,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “In all of the states and territories receiving funding, ferry boat service is an important part of transportation in helping to improve mobility and access to important services in these communities.”

The FHWA’s Ferry Boat Program supports terminal and vessel projects that provide critical access to areas that lack other means of transportation where high passenger demand already exists. Funding is distributed to State Departments of Transportation based on a formula contained in law, and the funding is then allocated to individual ferry boat operators based on eligibility.  


If you want to see how the states and territories are allocating the funding, a complete list is available. At a quick glance, the two largest awards look to have been made to the Alaska Marine Highway System ($35.6 million) and Washington State Ferries ($38.6 million).

Here are the state and territory totals

ALASKA  $36,359,678 
ALABAMA $340,797 
ARKANSAS $204,254 
CALIFORNIA $10,173,353 
DELAWARE $201,404 
FLORIDA $1,523,155 
GEORGIA $499,611 
HAWAII $1,217,040 
ILLINOIS $2,649,404 
KENTUCKY $1,384,025 
LOUISIANA $5,206,871 
MARYLAND $201,090 
MAINE $2,018,936 
MICHIGAN $3,804,092 
MINNESOTA $3,079,598 
MISSOURI $200,000 
MONTANA $200,000 
NORTH CAROLINA $3,140,227 
NEW JERSEY $10,105,484 
NEW YORK $17,850,244 
OHIO $446,584 
OKLAHOMA $201,076 
OREGON $1,270,243 
PUERTO RICO $1,107,962 
RHODE ISLAND $1,575,898 
TENNESSEE $249,108 
TEXAS $13,261,588 
UTAH $200,690 
VIRGINIA $3,476,799 
WASHINGTON $42,442,646 
WISCONSIN  $763,888 
Grand Total $172,251,541 
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