Biden Administration Awards $384 Million in Ferry Grants


The White House, CC BY 3.0 US <>, President_of_the_United_States_Joe_Biden_(2021) via Wikimedia Commons
President_of_the_United_States_Joe_Biden_(2021) via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced $384.4 million in federal funding to expand and improve the nation’s ferry service and accelerate the transition to zero-emission ferries and technology..

The DOT says the record amount of funding, made available through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will benefit millions of Americans – from Alaska to Michigan to Maryland – who depend on coastal waters, rivers, bays, and other bodies of water to connect to their communities.

In total, FTA is awarding 23 grants across 11 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Grants will fund projects including replacement of older and less efficient vessels, expanding fleets, and building new terminals and docks.

The state of Alaska has been awarded a nearly $286 million of investment in the Alaska Marine Highway, which serves remote locations throughout the state. Maine will be awarded nearly $33 million to build a hybrid-electric vessel to replace a 35-year-old vessel and also maintain and operate the Maine State Ferry Service to rural island communities. Nearly $100 million of the national grants will go toward low- and no-emission ferries, helping decrease greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

“With these grants, we are improving and expanding ferry service in the communities that rely on waterways the most—often in more rural, remote regions—connecting people to jobs, services, and city centers while cutting climate pollution,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

The funding is made available through three FTA competitive grant programs (the FTA’s Ferry Service for Rural Communities Program, the Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry Pilot Program, and the Passenger Ferry Grant Program), will boost ferry service in rural areas, modernize urban ferry systems, and lower emissions by speeding adoption of zero-emission ferries and technology.