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Ferry toll booths to be installed in Pamlico and Beaufort counties

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BAYVIEW, N.C. -

Ferry tolls are set to go up this summer, and already the first signs of those changes are here.

This week the North Carolina Department of Transportation will install toll booths in Pamlico and Beaufort counties.

Two ferry branches that have never had tolls before will start collecting tolls July 1: Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach and Bayview-Aurora.

On July 1, the fare also goes up for three other branches already collecting tolls: Southport-Fort Fisher, Swan Quarter-Ocracoke, and Cedar Island-Ocracoke.

The NCDOT says they're raising ferry tolls because of the General Assembly's requirement back in 2011 that they raise $5 million in annual toll revenue. 

 

 

-- Previous story --

The price to ride on a ferry in North Carolina may soon go up, but people in the coastal communities are fighting to change that.

More than 100 people turned out for a  North Carolina Department of Transportation public hearing Monday night.
     
There were a ton of people who rely on the ferries day in and day out who are upset about the proposed increases and came out to speak against what they are calling an unfair ferry tax.
     
So why are the tolls going up?
     
The General Assembly mandated that NCDOT raise ferry system revenue by $5 million by increasing ferry tolls.
     
So NCDOT officials put together a plan that raised the rates at three routes that already pay and add new tolls to the previously free routes at Bayview-Auroa and Cherry Branch-Minnosott Beach.

You can see the new prices by clicking here.

They did announce that due to the massive feedback they're offering a 10% discount to senior citizens (65 and older) and making it free for kids under 12. Emergency vehicles also are exempt during an emergency.

But the discount didn't go over well with the crowd. Their message was no ferry toll increases and they made it very clear.

The new fees go into effect July 1st and the DOT said there is nothing they can do; this is a mandate from the General Assembly.

So what can you do? If you're affected, you should contact your representatives and push for a legislation change.
     
The coastal communities have hired a lobbyist to do so and a bill is in works now, but ultimately, it's in the hands of the General Assembly.

You can contact the NCDOT:

Mr. Camille Robbins, Sr. Public Involvement Officer. NCDOT - Human Environment Section. 1598 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699. Phone (919)707-6085. Email: jarobbins@ncdot.gov

You can find more about the fight against the tolls at tollfreeferry.org

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