SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Chatham Area Transit (CAT) ferry boat fleet continues to grow.
CAT has been awarded $1.28 million in grant funding from the Federal Transit Administration for a new addition to the Savannah Belles Ferry service.
The new 149-passenger ferry will expand the fleet from four to six boats, following the arrival of another ferry funded by a 2019 grant.
CAT says the new ferries are expected to help accommodate increased demand from the hotel and residential development projects along the Savannah Riverwalk, as well as the planned expansion of the Savannah Convention Center on Hutchinson Island.
The fleet expansion will also allow for ferries to be taken out of the water for routine maintenance while still having enough boats for peak service.
CAT provides free passage across the Savannah River and, prior to the pandemic, provided more than 750,000 passenger trips each year.
The ferry system currently operates on a modified schedule from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Passengers can board the boats along the riverwalk, behind Savannah City Hall, and on the east end at Morrell Park near the Marriott Riverfront hotel.
Over on Hutchinson Island, boats can be boarded at the Savannah Convention Center, located next to the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa.
The new water ferry funded by the 2019 grant is expected to join CAT’s fleet and begin operating in late 2021. The ferry funded by the latest grant is expected to arrive in mid to late 2022.