Legislators could review new ferry tolls

sunrise

A ferry makes its way across the Neuse River at sunrise. Proposed tolls to ride the ferry are scheduled to go into effect July 1, but legislators could review them and make changes as part of the state budget process.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 23:56 PM.

Newly approved changes in tolling for the state’s ferries haven’t likely put an end to the issue.

The N.C. Board of Transportation approved at its January meeting adding fares or increasing existing tolls on five of North Carolina’s seven ferry routes.

The board acted to meet a 2011 General Assembly mandate to the N.C. Department of Transportation to increase ferry revenue by $5 million a year annually. A moratorium on any rate increases by former Gov. Beverly Perdue kept fee changes from going into effect last year.

While the newly approved rates are to take effect July 1, there is indication from area legislators that the issue remains up for discussion.

"It’s not a done deal," said Sen. Norman Sanderson, R-Pamlico, whose district includes Carteret, Craven and Pamlico counties, where two ferry routes are located.

Sanderson said he expects the issue to get further discussion when the General Assembly convenes again at the end of January.

Under the approved fee schedule, the river ferries such as the Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach route, which is used primarily by commuters, will charge a fee to riders for the first time.



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