New York Waterway and NJ Transit scored $7.298 million in federal funds to upgrade four Hudson County ferries, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ) announced.
The funding was awarded through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Passenger Ferry Grant program to repower the propulsion systems on four of NY Waterway’s older ferry vessels from traditionally diesel driven units to hybrid technology eventually operating on pure electric.
“Transportation funding that supports our local commuters is essential for both our state and regional economy as well as the communities that host these services,” Menendez said in a statement.
“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.”
The Belford Ferry Terminal in Middletown also secured $4 million for repairs and improvements.
“Investing in modernizing our ferries and ferry terminals means quicker commutes, better access to jobs, and lower emissions and congestion for the region. I am proud to announce these federal grants that will provide a more reliable, efficient, and cleaner experience for commuters and visitors alike,” Booker said.
Specifically, the NY Waterway project would consist of 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.
This creates redundancy in the event of a power failure and a backup system in the event of pro-longed power outages, emergency evacuations, or any other event in which vessels may be used in a capacity when charging may hinder efforts.
Examples of this include 9/11, the 2003 northeast blackout, Flight 1549 and PATH or Transit outages. The anticipated useful life of this project is estimated at 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,” added U.S. Rep Rob Menendez (D-8).
“I am extremely proud to help New Jersey Transit secure this grant to improve ferry service for passengers, provide more jobs for workers, and protect the environment for all area residents,” noted U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10).