USDOT announces $45.3 million in ferry grantsWritten by Nick Blenkey
Today, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) which administers the Passenger Ferry Grant program, released the full list of FY 2021 recipients under the program, with projects in 11 states and territories receiving $45.3 million in grants.
Grants awarded through FTA’s Passenger Ferry Grant Program help buy, repair, and modernize ferry boats and 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.”
TWO NEW FERRY GRANT PROGRAMS
Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden on November 15, 2021, the current FTA program will not only continue but will also be complemented by two new passenger ferry competitive grant programs, including:
- Up to $2 billion for Ferry Service for Rural Communities to improve access and mobility in areas where ferry service is a critical link for communities
- Up to $500 million for an Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry pilot program to support the transition of passenger ferries to low- or zero-emission technologies, which will help fight the climate crisis
The Passenger Ferry Grant Program funds capital projects that support existing passenger ferry service, establish new ferry service, and upgrade ferry boats, terminals, and related facilities and equipment. The grants also help transit agencies and ferry companies offset the considerable cost of introducing new, climate-friendly propulsion technologies.
“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.”
Funding through the Passenger Ferry Grant Program included the annually authorized $30 million, plus an additional $8 million appropriated under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Additional funding was available from prior year authorizations for a total amount available of $45.3 million.
Following is the full list of the FY 2021 grants:
|California||San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA)||The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) will receive funding to construct a new zero-emission ferry to support the region’s first zero-emission ferry service network. This project will reduce congestion and provide fast, clean, and reliable ferry transit service to growing neighborhoods with limited surface street access and a shortage of existing public transit.||$3,440,000|
|Florida||Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART)||The Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART) will receive funding to purchase a passenger ferry to support the popular Tampa Cross Bay Ferry, a regional seasonal service between Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL. This project will improve maintain a state of good repair and ensure a continuity of ferry operations.||$4,863,280|
|Illinois||Rock Island County||MetroLINK will receive funding to expand its passenger ferry service by constructing a terminal near the newly developed “Bend District” on the Mississippi River in East Moline, Illinois. The new terminal will address safety and accessibility accommodations.||$1,850,000|
|Louisiana||Regional Transit Authority (RTA)||The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) will receive funding to replace a landing barge at Algiers Point and to modernize a passenger ferry. This project will ensure safety, a state of good repair and improve service reliability for its vessel fleet.||$5,663,626|
|Massachusetts||Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)||The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) will receive funding to upgrade it’s passenger ferries that serve the Logan Airport/East Boston communities. This project will ensure continued safety and a state of good repair.||$3,935,140|
|Maine||Casco Bay Island Transit District||The Casco Bay Island Transit District in Portland, Maine, will receive funding to replace a passenger ferry nearing the end of its useful life, with a new ferry that will be equipped with a new diesel electric hybrid propulsion system. This project will ensure continued service reliability, maintain a state of good repair and, by improving air quality, advance environmental justice in the Portland community.||$3,600,000|
|New Jersey||Borough of Carteret & Carteret Port Authority||The Borough of Carteret & Carteret Port Authority will receive funding to construct a new ferry terminal building as a component of its planned daily commuter service between Central New Jersey and New York City. This project will provide an environmentally-friendly transportation option between the Borough of Carteret and New York City.||$6,000,000|
|New York||New York City Department of Transportation||The New York City Department of Transportation will receive funding to purchase electric batteries that will be installed on its fleet of vessels. This project will improve service reliability and air quality for riders who use the Staten Island Ferry between Manhattan and Staten Island.||$1,000,000|
|Virginia||Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation||The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation will receive funding to modernize the current Jamestown Terminal transfer bridge lifting system. This project will ensure a state of good repair and maintain a continuity of ferry services in support of the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry which provides vehicle and ferry services across the James River connecting two portions of Virginia State Route 31.||$2,099,151|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Public Works||The Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Public Works will receive funding to purchase a new passenger ferry. This project will improve service reliability, maintain a state of good repair and accommodate an increase in ridership along with the St. Thomas-St. John route.||$5,100,000|
|Washington||Kitsap County Public Transportation Benefit Area Authority (Kitsap Transit)||Kitsap Transit will receive funding to replaces a diesel vessel with a new, environmentally beneficial battery-electric passenger-only ferry and necessary charging infrastructure to carry passengers across Sinclair Inlet, between Port Orchard and Bremerton. This project will ensure continued service reliability, maintain a state of good repair and, by improving air quality, advance environmental justice in Kitsap County Washington.||$7,700,000|
Last updated: Friday, February 18, 2022