July 16, 2009
Murray gets more Recovery Act funding for Washington State ferries
When Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood released a list of Recovery Act grants to ferry operations earlier this week, Washington State came way down the list--with a $750,000 grant for the construction of a new ferry terminal going to the Guemes Island Ferry, which is operated by Skagit County and is not part of Washington State Ferries.
That produced howls of outrage from Washington State Ferries and various state officials,
Enter Senator Patty Murray. The day after the original list appeared, she announced that she'd succeeded in getting another $7.6 million added to the grants list for Washington State ferry projects.
A press release from her office proclaimed:
"One day after a major oversight in which the U.S. Department of Transportation failed to provide adequate stimulus funding to the nation's largest ferry system, U.S. Senator Patty Murray announced that she has secured an additional $7.6 million for Washington state's ferry docks and terminals from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Murray held the Secretary's feet to the fire and demanded a review and explanation of the decision to shortchange the nation's largest ferry system. She received word from the Secretary's office that it was an oversight and would be fixed thanks to her hard work.
"My message to the Transportation Secretary was clear: Washington state has the largest ferry system in the country and you need to fix this problem. He did and it's a major win for our state and our economy.
"When you talk about economic recovery in Washington state you're talking about ferries. They get people to work, keep businesses moving and keep our economy going.
"As a ferry rider and Senator representing the largest ferry system in the country, I know that Washington state's ferries are also our highways. I will continue to work to educate Washington, D.C. about the importance of this critical transportation system."
A breakdown of the ferry funding follows:
Kitsap Transit: Seattle-Bremerton Passenger-Only Fast Ferry: Prototype Vessel Procurement - $2,596,000
King County Ferry District Passenger-Only Ferry System Implementation Vessel Acquisition - $2,000,000
Anacortes Ferry Terminal Replacement (WSDOT) - $3,000,000
Skagit Guemes Island Ferry Construction of new ferry terminal with expanded customer service $750,000
Total: $8.346 million