Hampton Roads Transit wins grant for new ferry
Norfolk, VA – Hampton Roads Transit has been awarded a $1.8 million grant under the Federal Highway Administration’s Ferryboat Discretionary Grant program. The grant award requires a 20 percent local match contribution by HRT, bringing the total amount to $2.2 million. The money will be used to purchase a new Elizabeth River ferry as well as make improvements to the agency’s existing fleet and landing docks.
The ferries operate between Norfolk and Portsmouth connecting the two downtowns via the Elizabeth River. Service is also provided to the Harbor Park baseball stadium between April and September. Hampton Roads Transit currently has three ferries.
The agency also will spend close to $250,000 on improvements to its existing fleet and landing docks, including the replacement of gangways, life jacket storage boxes and fuel tanks. A portion of the funds will be used for deck preservation and resurfacing and a complete overhaul of one ferry’s engine and transmission.
Hampton Roads Transit hopes to acquire a larger ferry with a means to board and alight passengers simultaneously.
“This is great news for our agency, especially after recording historic ridership numbers during OpSail 2012,” said William Harrell, Hampton Roads Transit’s president and CEO. “We want to enhance this important service, which is quickly becoming a popular link to our bus and light rail services.”
The award comes on the heels of a $3 million grant that Hampton Roads Transit received in July from the Federal Transit Administration’s State of Good Repair and Bus Livability programs. Those funds will be used to purchase new paratransit and Traffix vans and an asset management system.