The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) has awarded the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) a US$14.9m grant for the development of a high-frequency network to connect San Francisco neighborhoods with battery-electric ferries.
WETA will use the grant to build a third electric ferry and the necessary shoreside charging infrastructure to support the San Francisco Clean Ferry Network, which will connect Downtown, Treasure Island and Mission Bay with the zero-emission forms of transport.
The grant was awarded through CalSTA’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program and follows a US$9m grant in 2020 – also from CalSTA – that was used to build the first zero-emission ferry and shoreside infrastructure. WETA also won a US$3.4m grant at the start of 2022, which the company used to add a battery-electric ferry to the sustainable network.
The agency is conducting a two-part study to investigate clean marine propulsion technology and shoreside infrastructure to inform future policy decisions. Current plans include replacing older San Francisco Bay ferries with new zero-emission vessels, in addition to WETA converting some current ferries to zero-emission propulsion systems.
“San Francisco’s waterfront is home to some of the region’s fastest-growing new neighborhoods. This grant will help reduce traffic and improve air quality by connecting workers and residents with the country’s first high-speed, zero-emission ferry service,” said Jim Wunderman, director’s chair of the WETA board. “We owe thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom, CalSTA secretary Toks Omishakin, our tireless Bay Area Legislative Caucus and our strong support coalition for sharing our vision for a world-class clean ferry network for the region.”