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NC House approves ferry-toll prohibition

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- The North Carolina House has reinforced its opposition to tolls on state-run coastal ferries.

The chamber voted overwhelmingly Wednesday night in favor of a measure that removes the authority of the Department of Transportation to set and prescribe tolls.

There are currently tolls on three of the seven routes. Under last year's budget law, the Board of Transportation was allowed to charge tolls on the others and retain all toll revenues to buy ferry vessel replacements. This year's House budget includes similar language to Wednesday's bill, but the Senate budget contains no such changes.

Both House measures instead would set aside money for ferry improvements and expand DOT's ability to use sponsorships and advertising to generate funds.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Why should the whole pay for the transport of the few?

This seems counter to the general trend that those who use services should pay for them, as evidenced by the installation of the first toll road in North Carolina. Shouldn't the people traveling by ferry pay for the ride? Why should someone who lives inland pay for the ferry rides of someone else who lives on the barrier islands.

Don't people who live on these islands generally have more wealth than the average North Carolinian, I figure they would have to in order to afford a house on the barrier island? Thus, shouldn't they be able afford to pay the toll?