U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, both Democrats, announced Jan. 23 more than $11 million in federal grants for two New Jersey ferry services: NJ Transit/NY Waterway and Belford Ferry Terminal in Middletown.
The funding, awarded through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Passenger Ferry Grant program, goes toward capital projects that help to support existing passenger ferry service; establish new ferry service; and upgrade ferry boats, terminals, and related facilities and equipment.
“Transportation funding that supports our local commuters is essential both our state and regional economy as well as the communities that host these services,” said Menendez. “Both the Belford Ferry and NY Waterway’s Hudson-New York ferry service are vital links in our transportation network that help reduce the number of vehicles on the road while investing in greener and more sustainable transit options.”
“Investing in modernizing our ferries and ferry terminals means quicker commutes, better access to jobs, and lower emissions and congestion for the region,” said Booker. “I am proud to announce these federal grants that will provide a more reliable, efficient and cleaner experience for commuters and visitors alike.”
NJ Transit/NY Waterway will receive $7.3 million to repower the propulsion systems on four of NY Waterway’s older ferry vessels from diesel to hybrid technology, eventually operating on pure electric. The work will include removing all main engines and generators, replacing them with two electric-driven propulsion motors, a battery bank of 150 KW hours and two smaller emergency generators, which creates redundancy in the event of a power failure or other emergency.
The project is estimated to have a useful life of 10 years.
“The FTA’s nearly $7.3 million grant for our regional transportation infrastructure is not just an investment in our ferry system, but an investment in our region’s movement to climate-friendly technology,” said U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez, D-8th District. “We must continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure and improve transit options for our residents while transitioning to cleaner technologies.”
The Belford Ferry Terminal in Middletown will receive $4 million to make critical repairs and improvements. That will include the repair of dockside infrastructure so that passengers are able to safely board and disembark the ferry and maintaining a state of good repair at the facility.
In December, Seastreak took over service from NY Waterway between Belford Ferry Terminal and Manhattan, which operated the route for 20 years.
“Each of these grants are great news for New Jersey and will help make sure commuters can get where they need to be safely. I’m excited that the Belford Ferry Terminal will receive federal funding to help make important safety repairs in my district,” said U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-6th District. “This funding will help improve efficient and reliable transportation options in Monmouth County, reduce vehicle traffic, and ensure that the ferry remains a dependable form of transportation.”