Senator Murray Announces $11.6 Million in Funding for Washington State Ferries 

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Senator Murray: “With these grants, we can improve efficiency, lower emissions, and get families safely from Point A to Point B.”

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced $11.6 million in funding for the improvement and electrification of the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) ferry fleet. The funding includes $4.9 million for the electrification of the Clinton Ferry Terminal, $5 million for the redevelopment of the Southworth Ferry Terminal, and $1.7 million for upgrading credit card technologies across the Washington State Ferries (WSF) system.   

“Like so many in Washington state, ferries are a part of my commute, so I know first-hand just how important it is that they are running on schedule to get people where they need to be,” said Senator Murray. “We really depend on our ferries—that’s why I worked tirelessly to secure new funds to help WSDOT expand and improve their service—and achieve their goal of electrifying the entire WSF system, because, with the largest ferry system in the country, it’s so important we lead the way in electrifying our system and reducing its environmental impact as much as possible. With these grants, we can improve efficiency, lower emissions, and safely get families from Point A to Point B.”

Funding for the three projects comes from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)’s Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry Pilot Program and the Ferry Boat Discretionary Grant Program. Both programs are aimed at expanding, improving, and modernizing passenger ferry services across the country with a focus on transitioning to climate-friendly technologies. Specifically, the three grants will:

  • Fund the electrification of the Mukilteo-Clinton Ferry Route through construction of an electric charging facility at the Clinton Ferry Terminal;
  • Fund the Southworth Terminal Redevelopment and construct a new passenger terminal building while improving transit and passenger circulation at the terminal that will accommodate the customers of both WSF and Kitsap Transit ferries, and;
  • Modernize credit card systems across WSF to improve security and accessibility. 

Senator Murray has long fought to prioritize investments into WSF and ferry systems nationwide. In the end-of-year spending package passed last month, Senator Murray fought to increase investments for the Transit Infrastructure Grant, which included $50 million for low or no emission grants; and $15 million for ferry boat grants—$8.5 million above Fiscal Year 2022 spending levels – with a minimum of a $5 million set-aside for low or zero-emission ferries. Senator Murray was also able to secure record funding for ferries in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which included $2.5 billion for ferries and ferry electrification and more than $17 billion for port and waterway infrastructure.