Crowd Packs Final Public Hearing On Ferry Tolls

For many people here in the east, ferries are a crucial means of transportation. But if a new rule is approved, users could be paying a heavy price to get from point A to point B.

A massive crowd filled Pamlico County Community College Monday night for the third and final public hearing on increased ferry tolls.

In 2011 the North Carolina General Assembly mandated the N.C. D.O.T. to increase its annual ferry revenue to $5 million dollars.

Three ferries where there are already tolls would see them increase and two previously free ferries at Bayview-Aurora and Cherry Branch-Minnesott each, would add tolls.

Henri McClees says for residents in the area, the views are one-sided. "I have not talked to one single person in Pamlico or Beaufort County that thinks this is a good idea."

For a small car, it would cost $4.00 at Cherry Branch-Minesott Beach, and $10.00 dollars at Bayview-Aurora.

The D.O.T. tells us they expect the rules review commission to make a decision in mid-April, and if they approve the increases, the new toll collections will take effect on July 1st.