Biodiesel Ferries Maybe Soon be on the Potomac

Oct 18, 2017

The National Biodiesel Foundation is working with the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition (GWRCCC) and the Potomac River Boat Company to encourage the use of environmentally friendly biodiesel in new Potomac River ferries. With thousands of commuters and tourists using water taxis and ferries, biodiesel will have a positive impact on air and water quality. In addition, Potomac Riverboat Company and their parent company Entertainment Cruises have discussed biodiesel fueling solutions for their entire operation in several major cities. These include: Chicago, Boston, NY, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and Norfolk.

The Potomac River Boat Company is placing into service four new 149-passenger ferries for tourist destinations in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.  Currently service is provided daily between Alexandria in Virginia, the Gaylord National Hotel, and the National Harbor in Maryland.

The Northern Virginia Regional Commission has launched a study to determine the feasibility of operating commuter ferry service from Woodbridge, VA into downtown Washington, DC with intermediate stops along the way. GWRCCC, through funding from the National Biodiesel Foundation, is participating on an advisory committee established to determine if the ferries can operate on a clean, alternative fuels that reduce the risk of toxics due to marine fuel spills, mitigate air and noise pollution.  GWRCCC projects that biodiesel could be introduced in the new ferries as early as the 2nd Quarter of 2018.

Both the Potomac Riverboat Company and Entertainment Cruises are interested in working with the Foundation and GWRCCC on future public awareness events, such as wrapping their equipment and promotional events.  The Foundation will continue to support all these organizations as they bring biodiesel to these DC ferries.