RALEIGH -

The state Transportation Department is holding more public hearings on a proposal to apply tolls on previously free ferry routes and raise prices on others.

Hearings will be held Monday in Morehead City; Tuesday in Southport; Wednesday in Hatteras; and Monday, Feb. 24, on Ocracoke.

Public hearings were held previously in Knotts Island, Washington and Grantsboro. The two-hour hearing on Knotts Island became heated, with the crowd speaking out against the tolls.

State lawmakers have mandated that new ferry acquisitions be funded through tolling, advertising and concessions.

New or higher tolls are proposed for all seven of North Carolina's ferry routes. New tolls would range from $1 for a pedestrian to $28 for a large multi-axle truck. The average passenger vehicle would be charged $7. Annual passes would be available.

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The N.C. Department of Transportation is conducting another round of public hearings about proposed tolls on its ferry routes.

After hearings on Tuesday in Knotts Island and Wednesday in Washington, the NCDOT has a hearing scheduled for Thursday at Pamlico Community College in Grantsboro.

Next week's hearings are scheduled for Morehead City, Ocrocoke and Hatteras. Another hearing is slated for Southport on Feb. 18.

State lawmakers last year mandated that new ferry acquisitions be funded through tolling, advertising and concessions.

All money collected will go only toward new ferry vessels.