North Ferry’s rate hike approved by Legislature

09/16/2011 5:14 PM |

PETER BOODY PHOTO | A North Ferry boat lands on Shelter Island.

The Suffolk County Legislature on Thursday approved North Ferry’s application to raise its fares.

Same day round-trip tickets will cost $15, up 15.3 percent from $13. The one-way fare will go up $1 to $10, or 11 percent.

Non-residents will pay $79 for a book of 10 round-trips, up 9.7 percent from $72, and $62 for a book of 10 one-way tickets, up 8 percent from $57.

The rate hike, which may not take effect for at least a month, is expected to give North Ferry an increase in annual revenues of $410,154, according to the company, up 7.8 percent from last year’s revenues of $5,229,709. Most of that additional revenue, more than $275,000, would come from non-discounted fares paid by non-residents of Shelter Island.

North Ferry filed the rate request with the legislature on May 16, saying its costs had kept rising even as ridership had slumped and that it had been operating in the red.

For Island residents, the price of a book of 10 round-trip tickets will rise from $48 to $52, 8.3 percent, or 20 cents per trip. The price of a five-day round-trip pass will rise from $22 to $26, up 18.2 percent, or 40 cents a trip. That would be the same $2.60-a-trip rate proposed for a book of 10 resident round-trip tickets.

Six-day commuter passes will no longer be offered.

The separate higher fare for SUVs will be eliminated, and the truck rate will be applied to vehicles 22 feet long instead of 20. Modified vehicles — trucks and vans with extensions — will no longer qualify for discounted rates.

Same day round-trip tickets will cost $15, up 15.3 percent from $13. The one-way fare will go up $1 to $10, or 11 percent. Non-residents will pay $79 for a book of 10 round-trips, up 9.7 percent from $72, and $62 for a book of 10 one-way tickets, up 8 percent from $57.

No change will be made in the rates for foot passengers, which are $1.50 for residents who buy them in the ferry office and $2 for others. The walk-on rate last went up in 2006 to $2 for everyone but, after a local outcry, the county reduced the fare for residents.

The  increases will not affect the bicycle rate of $5 per trip, or $3 per trip with a commuter discount.

The legislature’s vote was unanimous, according to Julie Ben-Susan, the general manager of the Heights Property Owners Corporation, which owns the ferry company. The legislature’s Budget Review Office earlier this summer recommended that the rate request be approved.

She said the increase won’t be final until County Executive Steve Levy signs off on it and the company did not expect to put it into effect for another month or so.

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