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14 Guidelines for Ferry Transportation Services Federal Transit Administration FTA can provide financial assistance for passenger (generally Ferry Transit Urban) ferry services as part of grant programs. Eligible costs include planning, design, and construction (and some- times operating expenses related to preventative maintenance). Transit systems are required to submit a variety of operational and financial data annually for insertion into the National Tran- sit Database (this reporting affects the formula allocations to transit agencies around the country), and, as part of this reporting, ferry routes are given the same consideration as fixed-rail routes. Research and Innovative Technologies Administration During deliberations for the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) in 1998, Congress identified a gap in the understanding of how to evaluate federal funding requests for fer- ries. To remedy this gap, Congress commissioned a ferry study in 2000 that was carried out by RITA and was called The National Ferry Study. The study included a detailed inventory of all ferry oper- ations and reported on the potential for new ferry operations, fast ferry opportunities, and alterna- tive fuels. The study allowed various ferry-related government agencies and departments to form a partnership in which different agencies had specific tasks and roles. Ferry-related planning, fund- ing, and construction had previously been shared among local, state, and national agencies. The study provided, perhaps for the first time, a clear delineation of agency roles and responsibilities. U.S. Department of Homeland Security DHS was created through the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Ferry operators and systems interface with DHS primarily through the U.S. Coast Guard and TSA. International operators also are subject to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). U.S. Coast Guard USCG is an agency under DHS, but can also become a branch of the United States military. The USCG is a maritime, military, and multimission service unique among the military branches for having domestic (and international) maritime law enforcement duties and also being a federal mar- itime safety and regulatory agency. USCG provides safety oversight for all vessels, including ferries, and conducts annual vessel inspections. All vessels must be USCG certified, and maritime operat- ing personnel require USCG licenses. USCG also mandates safety procedures for crew members and vessel operations and can conduct vessel escorts, security patrols, and other actions to ensure that vessels operating in the United States comply with domestic security standards. Ferries are often included as components of USCG's maritime security plans for urban harbors. Transportation Security Administration TSA provides security for the movement of people and commerce in and to the United States. TSA administers the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program, which is a common identification credential for all personnel requiring unescorted access to secure mar- itime areas and vessels and all mariners holding USCG-issued credentials. Congress directed TSA to issue a biometric security credential to individuals with unescorted access to secure areas of fa- cilities and vessels and all mariners holding USCG-issued credentials or qualification documents. Other Federal Agencies U.S. Army Corps of Engineers The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of civilian and military personnel. In the United States, USACE builds waterways and