b'LEGISLATIVE REPORT:Members of Congress Comment LEGISLATIVE on Ferry TransportationED WELCH // PVA LEGISLATIVE DIRECTORM embersoftheU.S.Houseofsystemshortchangesurbanferrysystemshighwaycongestionbytakingthousands Representativeswhoparticipatedwithpassenger-onlyvesselsthatoperateofvehiclesoff theroad.Congressmen intheSept.28subcommitteeonrelativelyshortroutes.Thesesystems,Huff man, Garamendi, and DeSaulnier (all hearing on Examining the Role of Ferries inof California) hinted at future eff orts to have Improving Mobility asked questions aboutCongressreconsiderthefundingformula. theimpactofthepandemiconridership,CongressmenIn addition, Congressman Huff man noted prospects for transitioning to electric ferries,hinted at futurewithdispleasurethatanimpendingnew and the need for future federal funding. federal program for more funding for rural eff orts to haveferries,containedintheSenate-passed CongressmanAlbioSiresofNewJerseyCongress reconsidertransportationinfrastructurelegislation, explainedhowferriesacrosstheHudsonwill primarily benefi t systems in Alaska.River help his constituents avoid land-basedthe statutory congestion when they commute to and fromWitnessesfromSanFranciscoand Manhattan.Topromoteefficienttransitfunding formulaWashingtonStatedescribedtheirsystems services, the New Jersey ferry terminals areof the existingeff ortstoreducevesselairemissions. connected to light rail systems. TheWashingtonStateFerries(WSF)has Federal Highwayundertakenaprojecttoconvertitsthree SeveralRepresentativesfromCaliforniaAdministration ferrylargest vessels to hybrid-electric propulsion. expressedunhappinesswiththestatutoryThissinglestep,explainedwitnessPatty fundingformulaoftheexistingFederalgrant program. Rubstello,willreducethesystemstotal HighwayAdministration(FHWA)ferryemissionsby27percent.AsotherWSF grant program. They said that the formula vessels come up for replacement over the next whichconsidersthenumberofpassengerssuchastheSanFranciscoBayAreaWater20 years, they will be replaced with vessels carriedannually,thenumberofvehiclesEmergencyTransportationAuthorityandusingcleanerpropulsiontechnologies. carried each year, and the route-miles of thetheStatenIslandFerry,mitigateagainstSeamus Murphy of the San Francisco Bay AreaWaterEmergencyTransportation Authority noted that its newest vessels have incorporated engines classifi ed as Tier 4 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and that the system and California seek to movetozero-emissionstechnologiesfor ferries and other passenger vessels.attention to detailCongressman Garamendi correctly pointed outthatprivateoperatorsofferriesplay aprominentroleintheSanFrancisco Bay area, as well as across the nation. He expressed his desire for Congress to amend the Capital Construction Fund law so that more private operators can take advantage ofthisdevicetoaccumulatetax-deferred capitalforconstructingnewvessels.The Passenger Vessel Association shares this goal.www.beurteaux.comLEGISLATIVE REPORT 26 FOGHORN'