A+ A A-

WSF gets $42.4 million boost from bipartisan infrastructure law

Washington state receives largest investment in FY2022 funding

Two ferries passing by UW Friday Harbor labs. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington State Ferries will receive $42,442,646 in Fiscal Year 2022 formula funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The funding was secured in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will provide $912 million in formula funding over five years through the FHWA’s Ferry Boat Program, an increase of 128% from amounts authorized in the FAST Act of 2015.

“This $42.4 million from the Infrastructure Law will help Washington state maintain our world-class ferry fleet,” said U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell. “Over 17 million Washingtonians depend on timely and reliable ferry service annually. This funding will ensure that Washington residents and visitors will be able to stay connected to their families, their jobs, and the greater Puget Sound.” 

Funding from the FHWA’s Ferry Boat Program can be used for ferry maintenance facilities and capital improvements to existing ferry operations, in order to increase the number of riders, relieve congestion, or address environmental or significant operational concerns. Funding can also be used to purchase buses and shuttles used exclusively to transport passengers to or from a ferry trip. 

Of the $42.4 million allocated to Washington state, Washington State Ferries will receive $38.3 million for vessel preservation and terminal improvements. The remaining $4.1 million will be allocated to the agencies listed in the table below. This an increase of over $20 million from what Washington state received in Fiscal Year 2021. 

Washington state is home to the largest ferry system in the U.S. Last year, Washington State Ferries transported over 17 million passengers, and for the second time ever carried more vehicles with a driver (8.9 million) than passengers (8.4 million). 

The following table reflects the funding amount allocated to each Washington state agency from the FY2022 Ferry Boat Program:



Amount Allocated:

Washington State Ferries (WSF)


Pierce County Public Works


Kitsap Transit


Whatcom County Public Works Department


Skagit County Department of Public Works


King  County Department of Transportation, Marine Division


Colville Confederated Tribes (Inchelium-Gifford Ferry)


Washington State – Eastern Region


Wahkiakum County




The Department of Transportation allocated a total of $172.2 million in Fiscal Year 2022 funding across 35 states and three territories. Washington state received the largest amount of Fiscal Year 2022 funding.

As the Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Cantwell has consistently championed investments in Washington state’s transportation infrastructure and has helped secure federal funding for important infrastructure and transit expansion projects throughout the state. 

Sen. Cantwell has been a strong supporter of robust increases to competitive transit grant programs such as the Capital Investment Grant Program, the Low or No Emission (Low-No) Grant Program, the Bus and Bus Facilities Grant Program, and the Passenger Ferry Grant Program.

1 comment

  • Rita Weisbrod Sunday, 07 August 2022 12:15 Comment Link Report

    So...no new money to build new ferry vessels? Allis good, but that is our top priority eeed!

Leave a comment

Comments are welcome as long as they are civil, do not include personal attacks, and pertain to the subject. In order to avoid being overrun by spam, comments are reviewed before they are posted.