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Cantwell announces $44.6 million to offset Washington Ferries hybrid-electric conversions

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 16, 2023—Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that $44.6 million (29.7%) of the $150 million cost of converting three Washington State Ferries to hybrid-electric propulsion systems will be covered by federal funding. The contract has been awarded to Vigor, which will conduct the work at its Harbor Island shipyard in Seattle.

“This announcement charts a course for our ferry system to be cleaner, more sustainable, and more reliable, using the world-class labor of Washington’s shipbuilders,” said Sen. Cantwell. “Converting the fleet’s three biggest emitters from diesel to hybrid-electric power will drastically reduce emissions and fueling costs. Federal funding to improve our nation’s transportation system and fight climate change made this milestone possible, covering nearly a third of the cost of modernizing these three iconic ferries.”

The $150 million contract covers the conversion of two Jumbo Mark II-class ferries to hybrid-electric power, with an option to convert the third vessel in 2025. The contract also includes planned replacement of the propulsion control systems, which will increase reliability and the lifespan of the three ferries.

Federal funding for the project is an estimated $44.6 million, 29.7% of the total cost.

As chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Sen. Cantwell has consistently championed investments in the State of Washington’s transportation systems and has helped secure federal funding for important infrastructure and transit expansion projects throughout the state.

In January, Sen. Cantwell announced that Washington State Ferries would receive three grants from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) totaling $11.6 million, including a grant to electrify the Mukilteo-Clinton route. Sen. Cantwell also played an instrumental role in securing $25 million to replace the 60-year-old Lummi Island ferry with a state-of-the-art electric hybrid vessel.

Sen. Cantwell has been a strong supporter of robust increases to competitive transit grant programs such as the Capital Investment Grant Program, the Low or No Emission (Low-No) Grant Program, the Bus and Bus Facilities Grant Program, and the Passenger Ferry Grant Program

SOURCE: Office of Senator Maria Cantwell

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