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NEWORLEANS - Higher fares could be the answer to keeping several New Orleans-area ferries running.

Some people don't agree with the possible new ferry rates. Others are OK with paying more, but they want to see the ferries run past midnight again.

Currently, the Algiers ferry is free for pedestrians and $1 for cars.

The Regional Transit Authority Board considered raising fares to $2 both ways for pedestrians and cars. For the Chalmette ferry, drivers would also be charged $2 to cross the river, and pedestrians would pay $1.Both boats would have extra fees for passengers riding in cars.

Officials said the rate hikes are needed to help provide a chunk of the nearly $9 million to keep the services running.

At a public hearing Monday at New Orleans City Hall, people crowded into New Orleans City Council Chambers to voice their opinions on the rate hikes.

One resident pointed out that people who rely on the ferry to get where they are going may be forced to come up with $4 a day to pay for transportation when they depend on the free service.

'I find it more then a little ironic that those who can afford a car can now cross the bridge for free, but those who depend on the boat are going to look at $4 a day,' said Michelle Moltz, an Algiers Point resident.

On August 13, there there will be a special RTA Board meeting. Commissioners will decide whether or not to move forward with the rate hike.Once approved, it will head to the city council for a final vote.

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