SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — Cape Fear residents had their voices heard Tuesday night on proposed rate hikes on the Southport-Fort Fisher ferry.
The NC Department of Transportation presented four different options for raising fees at the five of the state’s ferry routes. All of the options would raise rates on both one-time users and commuters. The different proposals offered different rate structures all designed to generate an annual revenue of $5 million as mandated by the General Assembly.
The rate structures vary, but examples include doubling fees on passenger sedans – and potential increases on commuter passes that would raise their cost to as much as $500 for a yearly pass.
Southport resident, Anne Corrao, has used the ferry for the last seven years to commute to work in Fort Fisher. She says the potential increased fees for commuters would be a major hardship on her.
“To take what they want to do with the four and 500 dollars on people that are on a fixed income and people who don’t get raises regularly or whatever the case, it’s gonna kill us commuters,” Corrao said.
Several other local residents spoke out about their concerns and presented other options for generating revenue.
Members from the DOT said they are looking at adding an exclusion for rate increases on school buses. The DOT must increase rates by no later than April 1st.