Cantwell Announces $1.5M Grant for Cleaner Hybrid-Electric Ferries in Puget Sound

Funds will help reduce ferry emissions by 95%

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced that Washington State Ferries, a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), will receive $1,500,000 in federal funding from the Maritime Administration to help convert a ferry on the Seattle-Bainbridge Island route from diesel to hybrid-electric power. 

Washington State Ferries is the largest ferry system in the nation and the largest consumer of diesel fuel in Washington state, burning more than 18 million gallons of diesel annually. Converting this ferry on the Seattle-Bainbridge Island service to hybrid-electric drive will result in a 95% reduction in emissions for the vessel. WSF is in the process of retrofitting its largest vessels, the Jumbo Mark II class ferries, from diesel to hybrid-electric propulsion in order to meet emission reduction goals. 

The funding comes from the Maritime Administration’s Marine Highway Program, which was established in 2007 to reduce landside congestion through the designation of marine highway routes. The program seeks to expand the use of America’s navigable waters and promote the use, efficiency, and public benefits of marine highway services.