Saturday, July 07, 2012

Ferry Tolls

For several months the island has been abuzz about proposed tolls on the Hatteras Inlet ferries and increased tolls on the Pamlico Sound ferries. At first there was talk of tolls on all North Carolina ferries, then the Hatteras route was exempted, then news was that the Cedar Island and Swan Quarter routes would be raised (in some scenarios more than tripled). Then there was a moratorium...then that was overturned, with a proposal to toll all ferries.

Round and round it went, with intense lobbying from coastal counties most effected by the proposed changes. The latest news is good. There will be no fees on the Hatteras run, and tolls on the other routes will stay the least until 2013, when the issue is sure to be raised again.

You can read more on Hyde County's web site:!.php

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is Molly Lovejoy's 2012 Ocracoke School Valedictory Address. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous7:35 PM

    OMG another guvment welfare program. Honestly, why do people have a problem with paying for a service they use??? A service they directly benefit from -- people have a problem with coughing up the fee er tax ?? The Supreme Court has ruled the government can Tax Hello! Responsibility is doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done. Can't afford to live somewhere - ah, move

  2. Anonymous11:03 PM

    Charging residents for the Hatteras ferry would be WRONG (I am not a resident). As a tourist, I wouldn't be oppesed to paying, but it charging tourists for the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry would cut down on day trips to and from Ocracoke, which would affect merchants up and down the entire Outer Banks. Regardless of whether or not tourists have to pay, I don't think residents should have to pay.


  3. Anonymous7:10 AM

    We love our yearly trip to your island. Each year as the children have grown, we've discovered 'beyond the beach'...Springer's Point, Ghost Tour at night, stories at the NPS, a little spot we call 'hermit crab beach', etc. Ocracoke has been woven into the fabric of our lives.

    I would pay for a ticket to come over. HOWEVER! I truly believe it is detrimental to make the residents pay for the ferry...these year rounders are already paying taxes and other costs associated with supporting a tourism industry (many costs we visitors cannot see or don't know about.)

    Residents should get a window decal...all those without one can pay the nominal fee. Heck, hook it into EasyPass/FastPass!

    1. Anonymous5:29 PM

      Totally agree!! Val in VB

  4. Julie S.6:02 PM

    Providing passage to Ocracoke is not a government welfare program any more than providing interstates or state routes are. Hyde County residents pay taxes, like the rest of us, that, in part, are used to provide transportation services. Compare Ocracoke's property tax rate with your own, Anon #1, and perhaps you will come to realize your last statement was uncalled for and thoughtless.

  5. Anonymous7:23 AM

    Although my heart is always on Ocracoke and I would not want to be anywhere else, I'm not a resident. I am a tourist. When NC Mainlander is able to travel to O.I. it is always my pleasure to support the local businesses.I make it a point to also look for any glass jars which are often set up around the village shops and restaurants earmarked for the local fire dept, island cats, OPS or any other need the community of Ocracoke requires a financial boost.

    I, too, do not believe the local residents should pay to go back and forth from the island to the mainland; however, I, as an Outer Banks tourist and a NC resident, do feel a responsibility to help pay and defer the tremendous expense of running our NC ferry service. Let me add, I would hope the fee would be reasonable and not one which would be a shock to my wallet. I usually take the Swan Qtr ferry, so there is currently a fee, albeit it small. I would be willing to increase that fee by a percentage, but not increase it to be so high that it would negatively affect future tourist traffic traveling to Ocracoke, including my own travel plans.

    All I'm saying is I would be willing to do my part since I am only a tourist, but when the ferry fee has been either free or very minimal for so many years, it would be most difficult to swallow, even as a tourist, a large, substantial fee. Again, those who live on the island should definitely be given a free pass and vendors should be charged at a discount rate.

    It is my hope that one of these days there will be a "happy compromise" for all concerned on this issue.

  6. Anonymous2:21 PM

    We wouldn't need to pay the tax to ride a ferry if the state would require the welfare, etc., recipients pass a test for drugs and cut their benifits off if they failed. Our state would have plenty of money.

  7. Anonymous12:11 PM

    The NCFerry division is a part of the Department of Transportation and has been funded in the same way as NC's roads and bridges have been funded - primarily by the state gas tax, plus a large infusion of federal money. To single out the ferries as the one piece of that whole budget that will require a "user fee" seems unfair. Why not toll the bridges that take residents and visitors to Oak Island, where the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee lives? Why not bill the residents in the western mountains when their roads need snow clearing? What makes one government service "welfare" and another just good government? We already pay a toll to cross to the mainland...if there is a toll on the Ocracoke/Hatteras ferry, we would be the only NC residents who would have to pay a toll to get home.

    Tom P

  8. Anonymous8:48 AM

    Well did not the the ferry start out as a private independent business. It was an upstart independent operator who charged for his services for each run. The big government came along and "bought" him out. funny how things go a private citizen starts a business... Maybe if this service was called a water TAXI maybe people would understand a fee for service structure. Workers in big cities have to pay to park their car while they toil away at their job. Perhaps the OI could charge for parking the cars on the island free ferry toll but pay to park your car on an hourly rate now that would work Pay to PARK on the Island J.Q.Citizen

  9. Anonymous10:48 AM

    Weren't most roads originally on private land? And didn't land owners erect toll booths? So I suppose we should put up toll booths on all NC roads? Oh, and one more thing, where exactly would the parking lot go, on Park land?

  10. Anonymous2:35 PM

    I wonder how that famous Island in michigan deals with these issues. It is located in Lake Huron and I do believe the only traffic is by foot or bicycle or horse drawn trollies with the exception of emergency and service vehicles.

  11. Anonymous2:38 PM

    Use a decommissioned aircraft carrier and convert it into a floating parking garage J. Biden