The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has allocated $172.2m to enhance ferry services and deliver more travel options in 35 states and three territories.

The funding will be provided as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 formula under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Through the FHWA’s Ferry Boat Programme, the law will offer $912m in formula funding over the next five years.

The funding will be used for ferry maintenance facilities, as well as to acquire transit vehicles such as buses and shuttles, which will be used exclusively for shipping passengers as an integral part of intermodal ferry trips.

It will also be used for capital improvements to existing ferry operations, increasing rider numbers while reducing congestion, in addition to addressing environmental or significant operational concerns.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said: “Many Americans rely on ferry service as a primary means of travel, making it a critical connection to jobs, healthcare and other daily needs.

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“The funding we are announcing will continue and enhance ferry service for communities across the country.”

The FHWA’s Ferry Boat Programme is said to support terminal and vessel projects, which facilitate access to areas that do not have other means of transportation but have high passenger demand.

In May, the US DOT’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) provided a further $234.3m for port projects that aim to boost the safety and efficiency of goods movement ‘into, out of, around or within a port’.