The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded about USD 32.8 million to selected projects to improve the safety and reliability of America’s passenger ferries and enhance mobility for ferry users across the United States.

As informed, a total of nine projects in nine states will receive funding from FTA’s Passenger Ferry Grant Program.

“These federal grants invest in marine infrastructure to improve mobility and enhance safety for passenger ferry services across our nation,” Elaine L. Chao, US Transportation Secretary, noted.

FTA Passenger Ferry Grant Program funds projects to purchase, replace or rehabilitate passenger ferries, terminals and related infrastructure and equipment.

“The Passenger Ferry Grant Program partners with local communities to leverage those assets to improve mobility for millions of Americans,” K. Jane Williams, FTA Acting Administrator, said at an event in Portland, Maine, where she announced a USD 3.4 million ferry grant to the Casco Bay Island Transit District.

Casco Bay Island Transit provides year-round ferry service between the islands of Casco Bay and Portland, Maine, transporting residents to services on the mainland. The grant will help upgrade a ferry terminal built in 1988 that was designed to serve 500,000 passengers a year. Since then, passenger traffic has increased to 1.1 million passengers annually. The renovations will expand passenger queuing and boarding areas, improving safety and efficiency.

Another recipient of the FTA funding is Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK), serving the Quad Cities metropolitan area in Illinois and Iowa. MetroLINK will receive USD 1.2 million to construct a new ferry terminal at the Village of East Davenport that will enhance service for passengers.

What is more, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will receive USD 5.9 million to upgrade passenger ferry slips at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ, to maintain safety and enhance service reliability for its passengers.

Finally, the Chatham Area Transit (CAT) Authority in Savannah, Georgia will be granted close to USD 1.3 million to acquire a new passenger ferry. The new water ferry is expected to join CAT’s fleet and begin operating in late 2021.

FTA received 20 proposals totaling approximately USD 99.3 million in funding requests from nine states.

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