Monday, April 18, 2016

Port of SF Awarded $4 Million Ferry Grant

By Mark Edward Nero

The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority is to receive $4 million to expand capacity at its main Ferry Terminal from four to six berths, to provide more capacity and support existing and future planned water services.

The money is part of an award of about $59 million for passenger ferry projects and ferry operators throughout the United States, issued by the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration. The funds will support existing ferry service on many of the nation’s waterways, and help to repair and modernize ferry boats, terminals, and related facilities that thousands of residents in various communities depend on.

“Passenger ferries play a unique and critical role in our nation’s transportation network by connecting people with the jobs and services they need to reach across the river, the bay, or other local waterway,” US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.

The money, which is awarded through FTA’s Passenger Ferry Grant Program, will provide grants to 18 projects in 10 states. The projects will receive a combination of fiscal year 2015 and 2016 grants program funds.

“Waterways help to define and shape the economies of many of our cities and tribal communities, and in these places, ferry service is an essential form of transportation,” FTA Senior Advisor Carolyn Flowers said in a statement. “We must bring our existing ferry systems and facilities into a state of good repair, and support new ferry service where there’s a clear need.”

Examples of other projects receiving grants under the Passenger Ferry Grant Program include the Regional Transit Authority in New Orleans receiving $5 million to replace its 90-year old ferry terminal; and the Delaware River and Bay Authority receiving $6 million to replace four ferry engines to improve service reliability and improve maintenance capabilities for its Cape May-Lewes Ferry service, which moves customers between Eastern Delaware and Southern New Jersey.