Bill proposes tolls on all coastal ferry routes

Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 01:58 PM.

The ferry toll issue continues to grow in the General Assembly, with the filing last week of a Senate bill calling for uniform tolling of all coastal ferries.

It is the fourth piece of legislation introduced this session on the issue, but it is the first that did not oppose the upcoming increase and new tolls on the seven Eastern North Carolina ferry routes.

The bill — Senate 660 — was co-sponsored by Republican senators from the coast and Piedmont — Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, and Sen. Kathy Harrington, R-Gaston.

The bill is three paragraphs and states "The Board of Transportation shall establish tolls for all ferry routes."

Attempts to reach the sponsoring senators by telephone and email were unsuccessful.

The ferry toll changes were first mandated by the 2011 General Assembly budget. After delays, including an executive order by then Gov. Bev Perdue to halt the implementation of the changes, the General Assembly ordered the state Department of Transportation to move forward.

Beginning July 1, it would increase tolls on a number of ferries and add first-time fees on others, including the Minnesott Beach-Cherry Branch route across the Neuse River and the Aurora-Bayview ferry across the Pamlico river.

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