U.S. Department Of Transportation Invests $316 Million To Modernise Passenger Ferry Services

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The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced the availability of $316 million to support and upgrade passenger ferry services across the country.

A percentage of Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds will go towards various initiatives to build capital projects, purchase low-emission ferries, and advance ferry services in rural areas.

The intent is to increase transportation options and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while offering employment opportunities.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg mentioned that the funding will have a pivotal role in helping communities modernize the ferry service.

Pete has seen firsthand how ferries are the ideal mode of transport and sometimes the only way for many Americans in various parts of the nation to get where they intend to go.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity includes the Passenger Ferry Program, which will receive $51 million to purchase, replace, or modernize passenger ferries, terminals, and associated equipment in urban regions.

It includes the Electric/Low Emitting Ferry Program, which will be granted $49 million in fiscal year 2024 to purchase ferry vessels that decrease emissions using alternative fuels and on-board energy storage facilities.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity notably includes the Ferry Service for Rural Communities Program, which provides federal funding for ferry services in rural areas, including planning, construction, and operating expenditures.

This initiative is receiving $216 million in funding for fiscal year 2024.

Past grants have provided much-needed support for ferry service upgrades across the U.S., with $220.2 million declared for such projects via ferry programs in 2023.

Passenger ferries enable cost-effective travel for individuals throughout the U.S.

However, Veronica Vanterpool, the FTA Acting Administrator, mentioned that ferry agencies can only sometimes maintain vessels in proper repair and make crucial investments in safety.

Reference: U.S. Department of Transportation

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