SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Federal transportation officials awarded the Golden Gate Transit District $5.9 million Thursday, money that will be used to purchase a new boat to enhance the system’s ferry service to San Francisco.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said Golden Gate was one of nine ferry transit agencies around the country to receive a grant from the $32.8 million earmarked for improving ferry service.

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“These federal grants invest in marine infrastructure to improve mobility and enhance safety for passenger ferry services across our nation,” Chao said in a prepared release.

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FTA Passenger Ferry Grant Program funds projects to purchase, replace or rehabilitate passenger ferries, terminals and related infrastructure and equipment.

“America’s waterways are a priceless asset, and the Passenger Ferry Grant Program partners with local communities to leverage those assets to improve mobility for millions of Americans,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams at an event in Portland, Maine, where she announced a $3.4 million ferry grant to the Casco Bay Island Transit District.

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Among the other projects selected to receive funding were:

  • Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK), serving the Quad Cities metropolitan area in Illinois and Iowa, will receive $1.2 million to construct a new ferry terminal at the Village of East Davenport that will enhance service for passengers.
  • The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will receive $5.9 million to upgrade passenger ferry slips at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ, to maintain safety and enhance service reliability for its passengers.
  • The Chatham Area Transit Authority in Savannah, Georgia will receive close to $1.3 million to acquire a new passenger ferry vessel to expand service and enhance service reliability for its passengers.