Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration announced funding for a project to modernize ferry services in 35 states and three territories, with more than $172 million.
The funding abides by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law formula for the fiscal year of 2022. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law expands eligibility, including ferry maintenance facilities and purchasing transit vehicles, such as buses and shuttles used exclusively for passenger transportation. It 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. The money can also significantly upgrade how the ferry system is currently functioning, which might boost traffic flow, reduce congestion, or take care of pressing operational or environmental issues.
Funding is also trickling down from the overwhelming money set aside by the Biden Administration to multimodal transportation services, including the newly revealed $300 million in competitive financing from the Federal Transit Administration.
Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack commented on the outstanding funding by leaving thoughts for a hopeful tomorrow, “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.” Pollack added, “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 offer essential connectivity to regions lacking alternative modes of transportation where there is already a high demand for passengers. A legal formula determines how much money to give state transportation agencies based on their eligibility. Monies are then subsequently given to specific ferry boat operators.
According to the FHWA list of funding, Washington, Alaska, New York, and Texas received the most funding, with Washington getting over 40,000,000 in aid. While Montana, Missouri, Mississippi, and Connecticut were tied for obtaining the lowest amount of assistance, which was $200,000.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg added to the thought of a hopeful tomorrow when he said the funding announced earlier today would continue improving ferry services for communities nationwide.