DURBIN, DUCKWORTH, BUSTOS ANNOUNCE $1.8 MILLION GRANT FOR METROLINK TO EXPAND FERRY SERVICE
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) today announced that Rock Island County will receive $1,850,000 in federal funding to expand MetroLINK’s passenger ferry service. The funding, awarded by the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Passenger Ferry Grant Program, will support the construction of a terminal near the newly developed "Bend District" on the Mississippi River in East Moline, Illinois. The new terminal will address safety and accessibility accommodations.
“MetroLINK’s passenger ferry service is an important part of the Quad Cities’ transit network and its economy,” said Durbin. “This federal funding will allow MetroLINK to improve accessibility and serve more passengers, whether they are local residents or visitors looking for a unique way to see the Mississippi River. Senator Duckworth, Congresswoman Bustos, and I will continue advocating for investments in our public transit systems.”
“I’m proud to see a more ADA-accessible and safer ferry transportation project prioritized along the treasured Mississippi River in the Quad Cities," said Duckworth. “Not only will this support help improve the passenger experience, it's promises kept by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to create more local jobs and to prioritize climate-friendly transportation. I'll keep advocating for additional resources that will help modernize our state's transportation systems.”
“The Quad-Cities MetroLINK Channel Cat is a fun and unique way for folks in our community to cross the Mississippi River,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “I’m thrilled to join Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth to announce more than $1.8 million in infrastructure funding to construct a brand-new terminal in East Moline. This project will create local jobs and boost development right here in the Quad-Cities – all while improving our water taxi system.”
“We are incredibly excited to add a fifth passenger ferry boat stop in East Moline, IL near The Bend, to support the continued development in the area by increasing multimodal travel between bus routes, paratransit and the riverfront bike trail network,” said Jennifer Hirsch, Manager of Administration, MetroLINK. “The new dock is planned to improve access to mobility by enhancing features that support safety, ADA access such as railings, ramps, and wayfinding. This project is a great complement to The Bend, and we are grateful to FTA, Senators Durbin and Duckworth, and Representative Bustos for recognizing the importance of public transit.”
The FTA’s Passenger Ferry Grant Program funds capital projects that support existing passenger ferry service, establish new ferry service, and upgrade ferry boats, terminals, and related facilities and equipment. The grants also help transit agencies and ferry companies offset the considerable cost of introducing new, climate-friendly propulsion technologies.
Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden last year, this program will not only continue but will also be complemented by two new passenger ferry competitive grant programs, including:
- Up to $2 billion for Ferry Service for Rural Communities to improve access and mobility in areas where ferry service is a critical link for communities
- Up to $500 million for an Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry pilot program to support the transition of passenger ferries to low- or zero-emission technologies, which will help fight the climate crisis