On Wednesday February 8th, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta accepted over $159 million as final payment with interest for a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan that helped renovate ferry terminals and provide three new state of the art ferry boats to the New York City Staten Island Ferry system.
The loan is being repaid 27 years ahead of schedule through a debt restructuring plan that saves New York City about $152 million in interest payments. The Staten Island Ferry system provides 19 million rides annually on a 5.2-mile run between Staten Island and lower Manhattan. The system, which opened in 1905 and is operated by the New York City Department of Transportation, provides 104 trips each weekday and 33 trips a day each weekend. During rush hour, it runs on 15-minute headways. It is in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The ferry system is a transportation link that provides short rides to commuters during the mornings and evenings, and scenic trips for tourists the rest of the time. During the 9/11 attacks, the local ferry system proved crucial in evacuating workers. Afterwards, it was an alternative mode of transit for rail passengers until the PATH system could be repaired. Along with the three new ferry boats the TIFIA loan also helped finance the rehabilitation of the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Lower Manhattan and the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. The total cost for all three projects was $482 million, of which $47 million came from Federal grants and $276 million came from local sources, including bonds.
This is the third TIFIA loan to be repaid in advance of its scheduled maturity date. Each early repayment reduces risk to the Federal Government while accomplishing TIFIA's goal of providing capital to projects of national or regional significance.
The mailing address for the TIFIA Credit Program is:
Federal Highway Administration (HABF-50)
400 Seventh Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20590
Please e-mail your comments or inquiries regarding this newsletter or the TIFIA program to: Duane.Callender@fhwa.dot.gov.
TIFIA Credit Program
US Dept. of Transportation