Click HERE for a high-resolution photo of Casco Bay Lines General Manager Berg, FTA Acting Administrator Williams, Senator Collins, Deputy Maritime Administrator Balzano, and Casco Bay Lines Operations Manager Mavodones
Portland, ME—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, joined federal and local officials at the Casco Bay Lines terminal in Portland today to announce a $3,440,000 Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant. The funding, which was awarded through the competitive Passenger Ferry Grant Program, will support Phase III of Casco Bay Lines’ project to renovate its terminal infrastructure to enhance safety and efficiency. Other officials present at the announcement included Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration K. Jane Williams, Deputy Maritime Administrator Dick Balzano, Maine DOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note, and Casco Bay Lines General Manager Hank Berg.
“As the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, I understand how vital responsible investments in our nation’s transportation infrastructure are to our communities,” said Senator Collins. “Maine’s ferry services are critical components of our state’s transportation system, connecting our beautiful islands to the mainland. I strongly advocated for this funding, and I want to thank Acting Administrator Williams for awarding this $3.4 million grant to Casco Bay Lines so that they can improve their terminal and infrastructure.”
“America’s waterways are a priceless asset, and the Passenger Ferry Grant Program partners with local communities to leverage those assets to improve mobility for millions of Americans,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams.
“The competitive grant funding awarded today is critical to ongoing terminal improvements that will enhance safety and manageability of growing passenger, freight and vehicle traffic here at Casco Bay Lines,” said Hank Berg, General Manager of Casco Bay Lines.“In her role as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, Senator Collins recognizes the value of capital investment in our ferry system which serves as a lifeline to Maine’s Casco Bay islands, and has continuously advocated for funding on our behalf. We’re extremely grateful for her steadfast support.”
Casco Bay Lines’ current terminal on the Maine State Pier was built in 1988 to accommodate 500,000 passengers annually. By 2011, nearly one million people were using the ferry service each year, which led Casco Bay Lines to embark on a multi-part renovation project to enhance both operations and passenger experience. Phase III will address remaining critical modifications to marine infrastructure to improve the safety and manageability of the increasingly dense and commingled passenger, freight, and vehicle movement at the terminal. CBL handled 500,000 pieces of freight and carried more than 36,000 vehicles last year.
As the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins has championed funding to improve Maine’s infrastructure. In 2016, Senator Collins announced a $2.5 million grant to fund Phase II of Casco Bay Lines’ terminal renovation. In 2018, Senator Collins helped Casco Bay Linesobtain a $6 million grant from FTA’s Passenger Ferry Grant Program for the construction of a $10 million replacement vessel for its ferry service to Peaks Island.