Public Sounds Off On Ferry Fare Structure

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The New Orleans City Council Chamber was packed with concerned citizens, who had their final say about the proposed fare structure for the ferry system.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter was there.

As the RTA’s Board of Commissioners considers how to operate the ferry system, without revenue from Crescent City Connection tolls, people who rely on the ferries to cross the Mississippi River gathered Monday to send one final plea.

“People don’t have the $75 dollars to buy a monthly pass,” business owner Jan Finner said.

Michelle Moltz takes the ferry to work 5-days a week.

“I would like to see it included as part of the RTA system; be included on the $55 dollar monthly pass not have the additional $75 dollars ferry only pass,” passenger Michelle Moltz said.

“The proposed fare structure that we came up with as you’ll see really changes from what you have today,” said Michael Anderson of the RTA Advisory Committee.

The proposed fare structure would raise one-way fares from one dollar, per passenger, to two dollars. A monthly pass would cost $75 dollars.

The boost would help pay for increased services, infrastructure upgrades, and special service during special events.

“You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to understand if it costs 8.8 million to operate the thing, but you only have 6 million dollars you’re 2.8 million dollars short.”

Point well taken, but people here want the board to consider their needs too.

Like having the original service hours restored from 6am-to-midnight. It’s a request that is especially important for small business owners, and workers in the Hospitality Industry.

“If they don’t have the ferries to get to work, they don’t get to work,” Finner said. “They’re single moms, they’re young people, and they’re college students.” “They really need the ferry to be working on a regular basis.”

“The reduction in hours has sufficiently affected the business in the point. It has cut the sales that I had form June to July 50%,” business owner Jennifer Blanchard said.

A special board meeting will be held Tuesday, August 13th to consider the proposed fare structure.

If approved, it will be submitted to the New Orleans City Council for final approval.