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Press Release

DOT HARTs Tampa on Valentine’s Day

$4.9M grant will support expansion of ferry service

Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) announced that the Department of Transportation will award the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) $4,863,280 through the FY 2021 Passenger Ferry Grant Program.

“What a fitting love note from the Biden Administration to our Tampa community on Valentine’s Day – this grant will allow HART to significantly reduce operational costs while expanding the Cross Bay Ferry service, helping to grow intercity and commuter ferry service. It will grow a popular transit option between Tampa and St. Pete, reduce congestion, create local jobs, support small businesses and increase connectivity in the Tampa Bay region. In fact, over 90 percent of the CBF passengers patronize restaurants, shops, museums and sporting events in these two urban areas. This investment is a win-win-win for our community and all of our neighbors.

“I look forward to continuing to work with local partners like HART, the City and the County to secure federal funds for multi-modal projects that support our local economy and neighbors,” said Rep. Castor, who championed the project.

“We are thrilled to have received this grant,” said Hillsborough County Commissioner and HART Chairperson Pat Kemp, a longtime proponent of Tampa Bay ferry service. “It’s a great down payment on permanent service. It just goes to show how strong our ferry project is and the value of our region working together.”

The Passenger Ferry Grant program (49 U.S.C. 5307(h)) provides competitive funding for projects that support passenger ferry systems in urbanized areas. These funds constitute a core investment in the enhancement and revitalization of public ferry systems in the nation’s urbanized areas. Funds are awarded based on factors such as the age and condition of existing ferry boats, terminals and related infrastructure; benefits to riders, such as increased reliability; project readiness; and connectivity to other modes of transportation.  Funding is allocated to projects on a competitive basis, from proposals submitted to FTA in response to Notices of Funding Opportunities.  Once awards are announced, funds are available for the year the announcement is made plus five years. See here for more information: