WETA Bags In $13.8M Grant To Electrify Ferry Facilities

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Credit: ZHANG FENGSHENG/unsplash

The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), the agency that provides San Francisco Bay Ferry service, said that it has won a $13.8 million grant from the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) to electrify ferry terminals and facilities in San Francisco and the East Bay.

Increased Charging Limit

The grant will fund electric infrastructure and increased charging capacity to the Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal, the Main Street Alameda Ferry Terminal and WETA’s Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility in Alameda. This project will allow WETA to operate zero-emission, electric ferries on San Francisco Bay Ferry’s routes connecting Oakland and Alameda to San Francisco. “This grant allows WETA to move full-throttle toward converting San Francisco Bay Ferry service to zero emissions,” said Jim Wunderman, Chair of the WETA Board of Directors.

This grant, which was awarded through CalSTA’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP), is the latest in a series of grant awards that have been secured to support zero-emission San Francisco Bay Ferry service. CalSTA previously awarded $23.9 million to WETA for the creation of a new zero-emission ferry network connecting emerging San Francisco waterfront neighborhoods. In 2022, the U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded WETA $3.4 million for one of four vessels that will operate on that network. The first battery-electric service funded by these grants is anticipated for 2025.

Upgrade Capacity

Under the new grant, WETA and its shoreside electrification partners will upgrade electric capacity at the Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal, Main Street Alameda Ferry Terminal and Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility to allow the charging of battery storage to be installed on revamped ferry floats. WETA is seeking FTA grants for charging equipment at the terminals. WETA will also leverage Regional Measure 3 funding to accelerate ferry decarbonization projects. The grant award is the first won by WETA that is focused on zero-emission transbay ferry service. San Francisco Bay Ferry carried 1.7 million passengers on transbay trips in 2022 on the nation’s cleanest high-speed, high-capacity fleet. Twelve of WETA’s current 16 ferries meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) highest Tier 4 emissions standards. WETA took delivery of the nation’s first Tier 4 high-speed ferry in 2017.

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Source: Portnews