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Ferry Tolls on the Rise

A ferry leaves Fort Fisher on its way to Southport


The Department of Transportation is proposing toll increases for several ferry routes, including the Southport/Fort Fisher ride.

The DOT is holding public forums this month, and the new or increased tolls will kick in by April first.

The state legislature mandated last year that the DOT increase ferry revenue to $5 million a year by raising tolls on all routes except the Ocracoke/Hatteras and Knotts Island ferries.

The DOT will present four proposals at public meetings this month.

With two options under consideration, the cost of a one-way ticket on the Southport/Fort Fisher ferry for a single vehicle less than 20 feet long would jump from $5 to $12. Some options would also charge $2 for each additional passenger in the car.

The DOT hired a private firm to perform the study by evaluating current ferry use and possible toll increases.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please email the WHQR News Team.


After growing up in Woodbridge, Virginia, Michelle attended Virginia Tech before moving to Wilmington to complete her Master in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. Her reporting and nonfiction writing have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, within the pages of Wrightsville Beach Magazine, and in literary journals like River Teeth and Ninth Letter. Before moving to Wilmington, Michelle served as the general manager for WUVT, a community radio station in Blacksburg, Virginia. She lives with her husband Scott and their pups, Katie, Cooper, and Mosey.