US Announces $172 Million to Improve Ferry Service
The Biden-Harris Administration on Friday announced new funding aimed at improving ferry service across the U.S. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration announced £172.2 million in Fiscal Year 2022 formula funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law improve ferry service and provide more travel options in 35 states and three territories.
"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." U.S. funding for ferry service is at historic levels to support multimodal transportation services that meet the needs of residents, including £300 million in Federal Transit Administration competitive funding that was recently announced.
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 and expands eligibility that can 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.