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FHWA 08-06
Friday, July 7, 2006
Contact: Brian C. Keeter
Tel.: (202) 366-0660

Nation's Top Highway Official Announces $2.2 Million Grant For Bridgeport High-Speed Ferry Service To LaGuardia Airport And Lower Manhattan

High-speed ferry service from Bridgeport, Conn., to LaGuardia Airport and lower Manhattan is one step closer to reality for area residents thanks to a $2.2 million grant announced today by Federal Highway Administrator J. Richard Capka.

Capka announced the new funding during a tour of the Bridgeport Intermodal Center and Port Authority with U.S. Rep. Chris Shays.

"Bridgeport needs the quick and direct access to LaGuardia and New York's financial district that the high-speed ferry service will provide," said Capka. "It will support housing and retail developments planned for the area and link travelers to bus, transit, rail and shuttle services."

The Bridgeport ferry facility now only provides low-speed service to Port Jefferson on Long Island. The funding announced today will be used to upgrade it to high-speed service from Bridgeport to LaGuardia Airport and lower Manhattan. Construction for a new ferry terminal may occur during the next three to five years.

Capka was in southern Connecticut at Shays' invitation to get a first-hand view of the area's transportation challenges and projects to reduce congestion. Shays was instrumental in securing the ferry grant, Capka noted.

High-speed ferry service for Bridgeport supports a new Bush Administration plan to take advantage of all forms of transportation to relieve congestion, according to Capka. Consumers lose 3.7 billion hours and waste 2.3 billion gallons of fuel each year while sitting in traffic jams. The Bush Administration's recently announced National Strategy to Reduce Congestion in America's Transportation Network focuses on metropolitan areas and gives federal, state and local officials a blueprint to cut traffic tie-ups, relieve freight bottlenecks and give travelers more travel choices.

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