WETA awarded $5 million for ferry refurbishment

Mv Solano Vallejo Ferry

The following is text of a news release from the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA):

(SAN FRANCISCO) — The Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) has awarded WETA $5 million in the 2017 Passenger Ferry Grant Program for the midlife refurbishment of M/V Solano, a high-speed passenger vessel operating on WETA's Vallejo/San Francisco route. The competitively awarded grant provides essential funding for this $13 million project that will enhance WETA’s regional ferry system and its ability to provide waterborne emergency response in the event of a regional emergency.

M/V Solano, one of four passenger-only vessels that serve the city of Vallejo, entered service in 2004 and is due in 2019 for a midlife refurbishment. The construction phase of the 12-month refurbishment is expected to begin in July 2019 with the vessel returning to service in June 2020.

Vessel refurbishment includes improvements to the passenger cabins, exterior updating, and upgrades to propulsion and support systems. The main engines and electrical generators will be replaced with cleaner Tier 4 engines that will comply with both Environmental Protection Agency and CARB requirements. The new Tier 4 engines will reduce overall vessel emissions by 90 percent. In addition, M/V Solano's passenger capacity will be increased from 320 to 445.

By Professional Mariner Staff