Proposed tolls on ferries delayed for now

Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 05:15 PM.

N.C. Sen. Norman Sanderson, R-Pamlico, said he did not think legislative action would take place to prompt the implementation of tolls on July 1. He was pleased with the delay.

"Tolls are going to have a very negative economic impact on our area, so if we can use that vehicle to get to where we need to go, then I’m all for it," he said.

Abbott also did not think legislators could get together on a plan by July 1, whether through various bills introduced in the House and Senate or the state budget process.

"None of that is clear to us at this point," he said. "We’re not going to go out there and make a decision until we know exactly what the General Assembly requires of us. We are in a waiting pattern right now."

But in the Senate, a budget proposal released this week calls for tolling on all ferries by Nov. 1, Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, said during a budget hearing Tuesday morning.

The budget proposal would adopt DOT’s rate hikes as well as add tolls to two routes that are currently without fares, including the ferry running between Hatteras and Ocracoke.

Many Ferry riders have been worried for the last two years that tolls would be added or increased on coastal ferry routes, thanks to a 2011 mandate by the General Assembly that the ferry division raise $5 million in additional revenue.

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