PROVIDENCE -- The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority ferry running between Providence and Newport received an $879,000 federal grant. The grant awarded to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, was awarded by the Federal Highway Administration's Ferry Boat Discretionary Program, a special funding category created for the construction of ferry boats and ferry terminals. Only $18 million is available nationally in open competition for the projects. RIPTA estimates that an average of 70 passengers used the 149-passenger ferry for each of its trips during peak summer season. The ferry made five or six round-trips daily between the Point Street Landing in Providence and Perrotti Park in Newport through October 16.