Legislation attempts to block tolls on area ferries

Published: Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 12:17 AM.

“They are people going to work. You’re not going to get a lot of tourists on these ferries,” he said. “On the Hatteras and the Knotts Island ferries, you get more tourists.”

About 57 percent of vehicles on the Hatteras-Ocracoke route have out-of-state license plates, according to the Ferry Division.

“I don’t like them going for free while our citizens are paying,” Speciale said. “If they wanted all four of them to be toll free, I have no problem with that, if they wanted to leave it just the way it was.

“The purpose of my bill is if you are going to try and raise money off of them, then you need to raise the money off the ones where the tourists are at and not the ones where the commuters are riding. That’s the whole gist of it. The other legislators may put in amendments to exempt all four of them, and I don’t have a problem with that.”

Speciale’s bill is currently in committee.

“This bill may morph a couple of times before it hits the floor but the bottom line is that I’m going to do everything that I can do so that when it does hit the floor both of these are exempted from the ferry tolls,” Speciale said.

He said there may be a need for tolls in the future, but with the current economy, now was not the time.

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