Reps. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., and Don Young, R-Alaska, today hailed the inclusion of critical ferry program funding changes in the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012. The bill changes ferry funding from a grants-based system to a mandatory formula-based program that will provide guaranteed funding for ferry systems.
"This bill is a huge win for states like Washington and Alaska that have so many residents who depend on safe and reliable ferry service to stay connected," Larsen said. "Ferries are a critical part of our national transportation system. This bill ensures ferries will receive reliable funding and that the Washington State Ferry System will not have to compete with other programs around the country for the funding it needs. We must invest in our ferry system to create good jobs, promote long-term economic growth and help ensure that the folks who rely on ferries are traveling safely and efficiently."
"In states like Alaska and Washington, ferry systems often serve as our highways," said Rep. Young. "This Highway Bill builds on the achievements we made with SAFETEA-LU. I am especially pleased that this bill places great importance on route miles -- this one provision will ensure that Alaskan ferries receive the level of funding they deserve. I want to thank my good friend Congressman Larsen for his continued support and work on this issue."