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[WASHINGTON, DC] – Today, Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Derek Kilmer (WA-06) announced that they helped secure a $1,500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Seattle-Bainbridge Island Ferry Service to convert one of its two ferries from diesel to hybrid electric drive. The grant, provided through the America’s Marine Highway Grant Program, will enable one of the two ferries to reduce its emissions by 95%.

“Reducing carbon emissions in Washington State is an enormous and urgent task that requires investment and cooperation from the federal government. I could not be more proud of our region and our state for its leadership in making our ferries more sustainable—this federal investment will support and strengthen our commitment to a more green and clean transportation system in Washington,” Rep. Jayapal said.

“I’m proud that the federal government is stepping up to reduce the carbon footprint of one of the most heavily used routes in the Washington State Ferry system,” said Rep. Kilmer. “Our region is continuing to lead the way in reducing carbon emissions and growing green jobs. Federal investments to make this route – and our public transportation system in general – more green and more clean are winners for our planet and our economy.”   

According to Washington State Ferries (WSF), the Bainbridge-Seattle route is the system’s most used – with nearly 6.4 million riders utilizing the route in 2018.

WSF has been working with the Department of Commerce and Maritime Blue in its ongoing effort to develop strategies for Washington’s maritime sector to become a global leader in innovation and sustainability. Since 2012, WSF has been exploring the feasibility of converting vessels to hybrid-electric propulsion and has identified vessel conversion as a Maritime Blue demonstration project that could potentially attract support from the private sector.

The grant, which was awarded on December 31, can be found here.


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