Hybrid-electric Bainbridge Ferry $1.5 million federal grant to convert a vessel
Washinton state is converting one of its biggest and dirtiest ferries to build a new electric one. The ferry system burns more than 18 million gallons of fuel annually. By converting the Bainbridge ferry it will result in a 95% reduction in emissions for the vessel. Washinton state is converting one of its biggest and dirtiest ferries to build a new electric one. The new ferry will have the capacity to hold 144 cars.
The Maritime Administration’s Marine Highway Program will be providing the funding for the vessel. This specific program aims to expand the use of America’s waters that are navigable and promote the use of the public’s benefits. The organization funded about $7.5-9 million Maritime Highway projects throughout the country.
In addition to being the largest consumer of diesel fuel in the state. Along with this, it is also the largest generator of greenhouse gas emissions in state transportation. Governor Jay Inslee says that, “We’re going electric, which means a lot of jobs for shipyard workers, and it gives us more of a fighting chance to save the things we cherish most — our land, our air, our water, and our children’s health”.
Jay Inslee also recently issued an Executive Order to transition the ferries to an all zero-emission fleet. The ferries are a means of transportation for millions of commuters and travelers every year. This is why it is so crucial to transfer to a cleaner means of transportation.
The transition highlights some major benefits. It will save taxpayers on ferry operating costs, eliminating engine noises and vibrations that harm orcas, improve reliability, and a 95% reduction in diesel and carbon emissions.
The Seattle to Bainbridge ferry system is transportation that Islanders depend upon heavily. It is how commuters, travelers, and tourists travel from the mainland to the Island. The 35-minute ferry ride is breathtaking in so many ways; through its views, amenities, and kind employees. This shift from being the main contributor to fossil fuels in the state to reducing this dramatically is a change that Washington needs. Everyone must do their part to combat climate change and this is how Washington State Ferries is doing theirs.