Senate Budget Includes $50M Borrowing Increase for Steamship Authority

HOS Lode Star recently purchased by the Steamship Authority. The vessel is one of three sister ships now owned by the ferry service. 

FALMOUTH – The Steamship Authority could see a $50 million boost to its borrowing limit under an article introduced in the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2024 by the Massachusetts State Senate. 

Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr, who spearheaded the effort, said the money would go a long way as the Authority looks to modernize its fleet and electrify vehicles.

“That is going to require either retrofitting or perhaps the purchasing of new vessels. This bond authorization increase will allow them to begin to plan for that and have capacity to make those investments in the coming years,” Cyr said. 

He added that it is an ideal time to raise the borrowing limit as the Authority could use it to acquire a fourth vessel that matches the other three used sister freight ships already purchased.

“It’s really important that they’re sister ships, right, because it allows for interoperability between each of the ships. The layout of the ships is the same. If you need to swap one ship in over the other you, then you’re able to do so quite easily. You can have redundancy, training, maintenance, it really allows for some real efficiencies. So the ability to have this fourth freight vessel is really crucial,” Cyr said.

The three identical freight vessels were acquired by the Authority for about $15 million each, but they still require retrofitting to be brought in-line with the goals of the ferry service.

The Steamship Authority is also reconstructing its Woods Hole terminal, with other capital improvement plans in the works, according to a joint statement from Senator Cyr’s office and the Authority. 

With the potential increase, the Steamship Authority’s statutory bond authorization capacity would total $150 million. 

The article is announced as the ferry service seeks feedback on its strategic plan that will help inform their spending over the next few years.

More stories from

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy