Committee rejects idea of ferry tolls


A transportation committee has rejected the idea of ferry tolls on the Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach route and wants the General Assembly to revisit the issue.

Havelock News file photo
Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 10:58 AM.

An area transportation planning group went a step beyond saying no to proposed ferry tolls.

Members of the transportation advisory committee of the Down East Rural Planning Organization said the General Assembly needs to look at the funding issue again and from a statewide perspective.

“We’re asking them to revisit the issue with a more equitable view,” said Atlantic Beach Mayor Trace Cooper, chairman of the DERPO group, which represents Onslow, Carteret, Craven, Jones and Pamlico counties.

Cooper said North Carolina’s ferries are as much a part of the state’s transportation system as the roads, bridges and other infrastructure across the state, and funding methods should be equitable.

The issue of raising an additional $5 million a year for the N.C. Ferry Division through either new or increased tolls for ferry use has been on the table for several years. Last year, legislators turned the decision regarding whether or not a ferry should be tolled to local transportation planning groups.

The Down East RPO faced a decision on whether or not to endorse a toll for the Cherry Branch-Minnesott ferry route. The proposed $3 one-way fare for the typical passenger vehicle would be put into a fund to help with purchases of new ferries.

The issue came up in discussions and the group chose to take no action, expressing its opposition.

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