It could cost you to ride a North Carolina ferry

Posted at 6:29 PM, Feb 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-06 06:01:37-05

Currituck, NC - A lot of people depend on the Currituck-Knotts Island Ferry, a ride over the Currituck Sound that's absolutely free right now.

But if North Carolina state officials have their way, it could cost you $7 one-way or $14 round trip to ride it.

"I think it's ridiculous. They just shouldn't have this toll on it for us," said Knotts Island resident Kim Campbell. She says the Currituck-Knotts Island Ferry, along with the free Ocracoke-Hatteras Ferry, are important.

"That's going to affect people in a lot of ways. Not just me. I'm on a fixed income, but I know a lot of other people on the island who are, too.  So, you either have it or you don't, and I'm one - I know I don't have it to do it," said Campbell.

Michael Mastarone says he uses the ferry to save money.

"It's going to take a lot more out of my pocket to ride this ferry. I'm going to end up driving around because no matter what, I'm going to pay the same amount to ride it or drive around," said Mastarone.

The Currituck-Knotts Island Ferry takes about 45 minutes to make a one-way trip across the Currituck Sound.  Similarly, it takes about 45 minutes to drive in one's car from Knotts Island to Currituck.

Tim Hass of the North Carolina Ferry Division told NewsChannel 3 that the tolls are being proposed for ferry replacement.  If the proposals pass, tolls could begin later this year. If they do not pass, then the Ferry Division will have to compete for funds set aside for other transportation projects. And if those funds are not available, ferry services could be reduced.

"It's important.  I ride it every chance I get just to save money," said Mastarone.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation will host a public meeting about the proposed tolls Thursday, February 13 at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.