The Staten Island Ferry will receive $2,340,000 in federal funding for a pilot program for conversion from diesel fuel to liquefied natural gas, U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced last week.
The funding, part of the federal Department of Transportation’s Ferry Boat Discretionary Program, will pay to convert one Staten Island ferryboat from the use of ultra-low diesel fuel to clean-burning liquefied natural gas. The pilot program is designed to cut fuel costs for that ferry by nearly half, as well as reduce harmful emissions and increase reliance on domestic stocks of liquid natural gas that are less subject to price volatility.
“Converting the Staten Island Ferry to liquefied natural gas is a win-win-win: It will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, lower operating costs and help the environment,” Schumer said. “This pilot program is a big boost for Staten Island commuters, who will ride a more efficient, cleaner ferry service.”
Currently, the ferries run on ultra-low diesel. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, liquefied natural gas engines emit up to 25 percent less carbon dioxide and other harmful products than do diesel engines. They also drastically reduce toxic and cancer-causing pollutants. The conversion also will reduce fuel costs by nearly 50 percent, ferry officials say.
“The Staten Island Ferry is vital to the daily commute of tens of thousands of Staten Islanders, who deserve efficient, dependable transportation,” Sen. Gillibrand said. “This funding to convert the Staten Island Ferry to liquefied natural gas will go a long way toward promoting energy security and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”
As the only ferry service between the Island and Manhattan, the Staten Island Ferry carries more than 21 million passengers per year, including 65,000 passengers every weekday. The boats make 109 daily trips during the work week. Because of heavy use, the ferries must be constantly fueled and undergo maintenance work
source: LNG Worldnews; Image: staten island ferry