letter to the editor

Investments in clean ferries will power local Maine economies

Thu, 03/02/2023 - 1:45pm
The recent announcement that the Maine Department of Transportation will receive $33 million in funding to support and modernize ferry service in our state is good news for local economies as well as our continued efforts to transition to a cleaner, more sustainable transportation infrastructure.
These investments were awarded through the Federal Transit Administration’s Ferry Programs, which was established as part of the bipartisan infrastructure law that our very own Senator Susan Collins helped craft and pass in late 2021. The new program aims to transition ferry systems here in Maine and nationwide to more climate-friendly technologies.
For Maine, the bulk of these investments—$28 million—will go toward building a new hybrid-electric ferry, which will serve the citizens of Islesboro and help reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions, promoting environmental sustainability while spurring American innovation. On top of that, it will continue to help power the local economy in upper Penobscot Bay, whose residents and businesses rely on passenger ferry service. The rest of the $5 million in funding will go toward improving the Maine State Ferry Service.
Mainers should be thankful to have a leader like Senator Susan Collins in Washington working to ensure our state gets these much-needed infrastructure investments that will not only help keep our economy humming, but also support a cleaner and more sustainable future for our entire state.
Tom Martin, of Greene, was a former Maine legislator and was lead on the Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Transportation. He also owned several construction companies in Central Maine.