U.S. Ferry Systems Investment Act Introduced

Monday, May 11, 2009

On April 29, 2009, members of Congress introduced the United States Ferry Systems Investment Act of 2009, proposing a significant expansion of federal attention to ferry transportation.  S. 930 is sponsored by Senator Patti Murray of Washington and cosponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.  In the House of Representatives, H.R. 2172 is sponsored by Representative Rick Larsen of Washington.

The legislation features a big increase in funding for the existing Federal Ferry Boat Discretionary Grant Program.  This program provides competitive federal grants for up to 80 percent of the capital expenditures for ferry vessels, terminals and other shoreside infrastructure, and maintenance facilities.  To be eligible, a ferry must be publicly owned or operated.  Eligibility also exists if the ferry is majority publicly owned and is determined to provide substantial public benefits.  For fiscal 2009, the grant program was authorized at $67m per year, with $20m of that sum reserved for systems in the states of Washington, Alaska, and New Jersey.

Under the proposed legislation, annual funding for the ferry grants program would be set at $200m annually.  In addition, the bill would change how the funds are to be distributed.  The money would be divided into two pots of $100m each. The first pot would be distributed according to a weighted formula.  The formula factors would be:  50 percent based on total annual number of passengers carried by a ferry system; 25 percent based on total number of vehicles carried by a ferry system; and 25 percent based on total route miles serviced by a ferry system. 

The second pot of $100m will be distributed competitively by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.  The bill mandates the establishment of a Ferry Joint Program Office within the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Its purposes would be to promote ferry transportation within the U.S. and to coordinate federal ferry programs.  Also, Clean Fuels Grants could be used for ferries.  A National Ferry Institute will be created at a U.S. college.  The existing National Ferry Database will be maintained.

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Passenger Vessels

Arctic Cruise Ship Brings High-tech, Green Design

A new vessel has been designed as a luxury expedition cruise vessel for worldwide operation including Arctic and Antarctic regions for itineraries up to 21 days with 300 passengers aboard.

ISS Appoints Holmes as VP, Cruise Solutions

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) said it is embarking on a plan to develop its cruise business with the appointment of Grant Holmes as Vice President, Cruise Solutions.

Palmer Johnson Yatchs Shuts Sturgeon Bay, Moves to Europe

Luxury yacht manufacturer Palmer Johnson Yachts is closing its production facilities in Sturgeon Bay because of dwindling sales and competition from overseas.   In

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.4239 sec (2 req/sec)