New funding to boost ferry service in 35 states

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHA) on Friday announced $172.2 million in fiscal year 2022 formula funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to 35 states and three territories to improve ferry service and provide more travel options.

Under the Biden administration, 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.

Water Emergency Transportation Authority photo

“Many Americans rely on ferry service as a primary means of travel, making it a critical connection to jobs, health care, and other daily needs,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The funding we are announcing … will continue and enhance ferry service for communities across the country.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $912 million in formula funding over five years through FHA’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 FHA’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.

States and territories and FY 2022 allocations

Alaska: $36,359,678
Alabama: $340,797
American Samoa: $873,348
Arkansas: $204,254
California: $10,173,353
Connecticut: $200,000
Delaware: $201,404
Florida: $1,523,155
Georgia: $499,611
Hawaii: $1,217,040
Illinois: $2,649,404
Kentucky: $1,384,025
Louisiana: $5,206,871
Massachusetts: $4,641,973
Maryland: $201,090
Maine: $2,018,936
Michigan: $3,804,092
Minnesota: $3,079,598
Missouri: $200,000
Mississippi: $200,000
Montana: $200,000
North Carolina: $3,140,227
New Jersey: $10,105,484
New York: $17,850,244
Ohio: $446,584
Oklahoma: $201,076
Oregon: $1,270,243
Puerto Rico: $1,107,962
Rhode Island: $1,575,898
South Carolina: $316,692
Tennessee: $249,108
Texas: $13,261,588
Utah: $200,690
Virginia: $3,476,799
Virgin Islands: $463,145
Washington: $42,442,646
West Virginia: $200,638
Wisconsin: $763,888

– Federal Highway Administration

By Rich Miller