U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker announced a $7.3 million in federal transportation grant that will help NY Waterway install the first hybrid engines in its ferry fleet. The grant will be used to repower the propulsion systems on up to four of NY Waterway’s ferry vessels from conventional diesel engines to hybrid technology — and can ultimately help them convert to all-electric.

These upgrades will significantly reduce fuel use and emissions, while also reducing engine noise and improving local air quality near ferry terminals. The funding was awarded through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Passenger Ferry Grant program with the support of NJ Transit.

Each ferry upgrade consists of removing all main engines and generators and replacing them with two electric-driven propulsion motors, a battery bank, and two smaller emergency generators creating redundancy. In 2022, NY Waterway announced the first of six ferries had received a full engine retrofit to dramatically cut emissions, under a separate program with NJ Transit.

With last week’s announcement, up to 10 of NY Waterway’s ferries are now slated for upgrades that will make them greener, quieter, and more efficient. “Ferries are already a green way to take cars off our region’s bridges, tunnels, and roadways and this important funding means that now they’ll become even greener,” said Armand Pohan, president and CEO of NY Waterway.

“It’s always our mission to be a good neighbor and steward of the environment, and we are grateful to our partners at NJ Transit, the FTA, and Senators Menendez and Booker for this program to upgrade more boats.” 

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