Lawmaker files act to exempt ferry routes from tolls

0205 ferry tolls vid

A moratorium on ferry tolls, created by former Governor Beverly Perdue, is set to expire on July 1. But Representative Michael Speciale is trying to beat that deadline.

On Monday, Rep. Speciale filed an act with the State Legislature that would exempt the Bayview-Aurora and Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach ferries from tolls. Rep. Speciale said people just could not afford to pay between $5 and $12 a trip.

In 2011, the State Legislature ordered the DOT to raise $5 million annually through tolls on all ferries except the Ocracoke-Hatteras and Knotts Island routes. Rep. Speciale said this just isn't fair, nor is it practical.

"If you're going to try to raise money from the ferry, common sense says to do it from the tourist, not from your commuters," Rep. Speciale said.

Rep. Speciale's bill is being reviewed. He predicts by the end of the session, the Bayview-Aurora and Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach routes will be exempt from tolls.

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