Feds to Dole Out $38 Million in Grants to Passenger Ferries

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Bring on the passenger ferries!

The U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding $38 million in grants for passenger ferries. There were 220 ferry operators as of a 2016 count by the U.S. DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

78 were reported to be a public operation on behalf of a federal, state or a local government agency and 142 reported as a private operation.


Of the $38 million doled out in 30 grants, $4 million will be only for low or zero-emission ferries or ferries that use electric battery or fuel cell components.

According to the grant summary, the funds will be used “to support capital projects to improve existing passenger ferry service, establish new ferry service, and repair and modernize ferry boats, terminals, and related facilities and equipment.”

New York City recently added several ferry routes, run by the NYC DOT, and paid for in part with a swipe of a rider’s public transit card — $2.75. The city subsidizes ferry service since it costs far more than that per rider.

The five boroughs that make up the Big Apple are surrounded by water, with tunnels and bridges connecting them. Critics say more investments should be made in its buses and subway instead, since the low-capacity ferry system does little to transport most of the city’s 8.5 million residents.

Perhaps New York City will be among the municipalities grabbing for some of that $38 million.

The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.

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