M/V Waterman, operated by Kitsap Transit, is the first hybrid-diesel ferry to operate commercial service on Puget Sound. (All American Marine photo)

M/V Waterman, operated by Kitsap Transit, is the first hybrid-diesel ferry to operate commercial service on Puget Sound. (All American Marine photo)

Feds award $7.7 million grant for zero-emission passenger ferry

Grant money will support design, build of an electric foot ferry for Port Orchard-Bremerton route

PORT ORCHARD — Foot ferry vessels plying the waters between Port Orchard and Bremerton will soon be examples of a new generation of marine transport: those that are either hybrid-electric or all-electric vessels.

Kitsap Transit announced Tuesday that it has been awarded a $7.7 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to design and construct an all-electric foot ferry and install shoreside charging infrastructure at the Bremerton ferry terminal.

The agency said in a news release that the grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Passenger Ferry Grant Program will support the design and construction of a battery-electric foot ferry modeled after Kitsap Transit’s M/V Waterman, a hybrid-electric foot ferry that operates the Port Orchard-Bremerton route.

Earlier this month, the Washington state Legislature showcased a Democratic-led $16 billion transportation package that would provide Kitsap Transit with $6.5 million to support the zero-emission ferry project.

“This FTA grant, coupled with funding from the state’s historic transportation package, will help us build and support a sustainable, environmentally-friendly fleet,” said John Clauson, Kitsap Transit’s executive director. “These two funding sources will support the construction of an all-electric local ferry and install the infrastructure necessary to charge the vessel.”

Clauson said he was appreciative of the efforts of Washington state Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, as well as U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, in pushing for investments in clean transportation infrastructure.

Kitsap Transit took delivery in 2019 of the M/V Waterman, the first hybrid-diesel ferry to operate commercial service on Puget Sound. It was designed by Glosten and built by All American Marine. The new ferry will be modeled after the Waterman’s design, with minimal modifications to the hull and “significant design changes to the propulsion system.”

“The Waterman uses a generator to charge a battery bank and operates on battery power while idling and loading passengers, reducing carbon-dioxide emissions and increasing the efficiency of its diesel engine,” the agency noted in its release.

The grant reportedly will cover 80% of the design cost and construction of the vessel. Kitsap Transit will provide a required 20% local match.

More in News

Stonechild Chiefstick
Chiefstick’s family gets $2 million in lawsuit against Poulsbo

Poulsbo has settled the federal civil rights and state wrongful death lawsuits… Continue reading

Cast members of Olympic College film student R.S. Powell’s thesis film “Ghost in the Graveyard.”
Hoping he has a ghost of a chance in film industry

Olympic College student makes horror flick at NK locations

One of the parking spots on Front Street that will be designated for short-term parking and loading areas for nearby businesses. Courtesy Photos
3 downtown spots to be short-term loading areas

Council also approves new contract with Poulsbo police

Port Orchard city public hearing on fireworks ordinance

Hearing is set for March 22 in City Hall

Rep. Michelle Caldier, R-Port Orchard
Caldier sets virtual town hall meeting

Session is planned for Thursday, March 24

137 new COVID cases confirmed in Kitsap in the past week

Over the last week, Kitsap’s case rate per 100,000 residents has dropped significantly to 32.3

Escape from the horrors in Ukraine

Mother and her sons make a harrowing journey out of war-torn Kyiv to South Kitsap

Legislature 2022: What passed and what didn’t

Lawmakers pass $64.1 billion supplemental state budget

Most Read