Kitsap Transit and Maritime Blue win grant for electric ferry design

Fast ferry will use battery-electric, low-emission technology

Congratulations to partners Kitsap Transit and Maritime Blue for winning a federal grant to complete the preliminary design for a high-speed electric passenger ferry.

The state-of-the-art hydrofoil design will rely on lightweight carbon fiber construction and batteries to speed up travel between urban centers and suburban and rural communities.  It will significantly reduce or eliminate fuel use compared to conventional fast ferries.

The Federal Transit Administration is providing the $372,910 grant as part of its Accelerating Innovative Mobility initiative. 

The public-private partnership team is led by Washington Maritime Blue, which works to bring together businesses, public agencies, and nonprofits to support the region as a center of maritime excellence.

Cash contributions of $100,000 were committed by the ports of Bellingham, Skagit County, and Anacortes. An additional $139,000 of in-kind contributions are committed by key project partners.

Kitsap Transit currently operates three hydrofoil-assisted fast ferries – Rich Passage 1, Reliance and Lady Swift– that run on conventional diesel fuel. The hydrofoil helps raise much of the vessel’s hull above the waterline, enabling high-speed, low-wake performance on the Bremerton-Seattle route.

The electric foil ferry will be designed by Bieker Boats and Glosten and include options for fully electric propulsion or diesel-electric propulsion for extended range. The diesel-electric option could be two to three times more fuel efficient than conventional fast ferries and save 1,500 tons of carbon-dioxide annually.

You can learn more in the joint news release.



This is wonderful news regarding the award for the design of a new electric passenger ferry. I certainly support and applaud this endeavor. I was just wondering about projected time frame and then once the design part is completed, what is the next step like for instance funding funds and would it be put out for bid or does the design part also include building the ferry. I also desire it be able to reduce water sounds so that it doesn't or minimally impacts water going species such as whales.

Very futuristic in developing a better and sustainable way to move people, vehicles, and cargo through the water - many compliments.