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Tiburon wins $24 mil grant to electrify Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry Co. fleet

The Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry Co.’s main vessel, the 400-passenger double-decker Angel Island, pulls away from its Tiburon dock on May 3. The town has been awarded a $24 million grant that will convert the Angel Island and the Bonita to electric ferries and to replace a third boat, the Tamalpais, with a new electric ferry. Under state law, all short-run ferries must be zero emission by Dec. 31, 2025. (Ted McDonnell / For The Ark)

Tiburon has been awarded a $24 million state grant toward converting the Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry Co.’s three-boat fleet into all-electric vessels. The process will be the first of its kind in California as short-run operators race the clock to meet a looming zero-emissions deadline.

 

“It’s the biggest step toward greenhouse-gas reduction that we could ever make in this town,” Mayor Alice Fredericks said last week after the award from the California Air Resources Board was announced April 29.



Tiburon applied for the grant in December, with the Town Council vote to accept scheduled for May 15, according to Town Manager Greg Chanis. The town will then use contracted Town Engineer John Moe, as Moe Engineering, to administer the electrification and infrastructure project, which will also require a dock expansion for new charging equipment, the installation of solar panels and an electric-grid upgrade from Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

 

Fleet owner Maggie McDonogh of Tiburon, a fourth-generation ferry captain whose father founded the private company in 1959, has been seeking assistance since before the state officially announced in late 2022 that all short-run ferries must be zero-emission by Dec. 31, 2025. The law applies to those with routes of 3 nautical miles or less, and the trip between her Tiburon ferry dock and Ayala Cove is about 1 nautical mile.

 

Without help, she said in February 2023, the cost of the requirement would have put her out of business.


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