The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced 384.4 million USD in funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve the nation’s ferry services and accelerate the transition to zero-exhaust-emission vehicles.

In total, the FTA is awarding 23 grants across 11 states and the US Virgin Islands.

US Ferry
The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities will build passenger ferries to replace or modernise older vessels and make critical dock upgrades in several communities

These grants will contribute towards replacing old vessels, expanding fleets and building new terminals and docks.

Nearly 100 million USD will go toward low and no-exhaust-emission ferries. For example, the Maine Department of Transportation will receive 28 million USD to build a hybrid-electric vessel to serve the island of Islesboro.

In addition, nearly 286 million USD will be invested in the Alaska Marine Highway, which serves remote locations throughout the state.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said:

With these grants, we are improving and expanding ferry service in the communities that rely on waterways the most—often in more rural, remote regions—connecting people to jobs, services, and city centers while cutting climate pollution.

The funding has been made available through three FTA competitive grant programmes:

  • FTA’s Ferry Service for Rural Communities Programme provides competitive funding to states for ferry service in rural areas. FTA is awarding 252.4 million USD to eight projects in four states.
  • FTA’s Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry Pilot Programme provides competitive funding for electric or low-emitting ferries and charging equipment. FTA is awarding 97.6 million USD to seven projects in seven states.
  • FTA’s Passenger Ferry Grant Programme supports new ferry services, as well as the repair and modernisation of ferry vessels, terminals, and facilities in urban areas. FTA is awarding $34.4 million to eight projects in six states and the US Virgin Islands.

A full list of grants can be viewed here.

FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said:

Today’s announcement represents a record amount of support for transit ferries in our country. And thanks to the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, for the first time ever, we are able to provide competitive grant funds for passenger ferry service in rural areas and help ferry operators reduce their climate impact.

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