Legislation to save Canal Street, Chalmette ferries in front of La. House

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wwltv.com

Posted on May 30, 2013 at 6:17 AM

Updated Thursday, May 30 at 10:13 AM

WWLTV.com
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NEW ORLEANS - For months, there's been talk that ferry services could come to an end during the summer.

However, a bill moving through the Louisiana State Legislature could provide funding for the Chalmette and Canal Street boats. The proposed legislation cleared a house committee.

More than one million people use the Canal Street Ferry each year.

In 2012, there was an effort to privatize the ferries, but no one stepped forward to bid on the deal.

Senate Bill 215 was created by Senator David Heitmeier, D - New Orleans, as a possible solution to the problem.

The bill calls for the Department of Transportation and Development to contribute up to $4 million a year to the ferries -- the Chalmette and Canal Street ferries -- although it is unclear if that would provide direct funding for the Canal Street ferry.

Another nearly $800,000 would come from truck and trailer registration in Orleans Parish.

The bill allows for a public agency to take over the operation of the ferries and decide on fares. If the ferries are saved, users may see increased fares to help fill in the funding gaps.

The bill is headed to the full house for a vote.

Lawmakers are also considering a bill that would save the Edgard-Reserve and White Castle ferries.

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