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1:1 with Kelly Houck, Capital Administrative Associate at Kitsap Transit

Publication Date: Sep 22, 2022

This is a transcript of a video interview with Kelly Houck on May 16, 2022 in Chicago, IL at the Mobility Innovation Collaborative workshop. Find these videos on the Mobility Learning Center here


Tell us about yourself and your project. 

Hi, my name is Kelly Houck, and I’m a Capital Administrative Associate with Kitsap Transit, and we received a Federal Transit Administration AIM grant.


What inspired your project?

In 2016, Kitsap County passed Proposition One, and that allowed us to move forward with a fast ferry program. We have three locations that we serve riders out of, and they make direct service to downtown Seattle. Our very first one started in July 2017, in our route from Bremerton to Seattle passing through the Rich Passage. 

And basically we also, at the same time, started investing in sustainable electric projects. The environment is very important to us. We started with a pilot program for an electric bus and we expanded on that. We were able to get additional ones that then kind of brought forward, “can we do this with our vessels?” So around 2018, this concept kind of came to play, whether we could move forward with creating a vessel that could be all-electric and expand our ferry system.


What are your project goals? 

Our goal out of this is really to create a replicable business model for other areas around the Puget Sound that could expand on this. Maybe others nationwide or even globally would be able to potentially use this replicable business model. 

We hope to use this as a foundation to start actually going into design and building a scaled model and then into construction in order to actually create the vessel.


How does your project impact your community? 

So this mobility project will allow us to develop or take this model and then actually create the design, the scale model, and then the construction to actually test an all-electric fast foil ferry. This could potentially be the first in the world. There are a couple of other nations competing to get this type of foil ferry vessel done before us. We’re hoping that we can move forward with this project and then use this as a model for other areas to purchase the vessel design and create a replicable fast foil ferry, and create a reimagined Mosquito Fleet.


Tell us about your project partners and their role. 

The AIM grant allowed experts from two naval architect disciplines, one from sailboats and the other from commercial workboats to come together to develop a game-changing vessel.


How does the Shared-Use Mobility Center support your project and team?

We really appreciate the coordination effort that SUMC has supported through the monthly and quarterly meetings, and being able to hear about other people’s projects and what they have going on. I know with our project, it was very unique compared to a lot of the other projects. Great experience, so thank you.