[StBernard] Task force expected to recommend keeping CCC tolls
westley at da-parish.com
Thu Jan 12 07:14:47 EST 2012
Task force expected to recommend keeping CCC tolls
Posted on January 11, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Updated yesterday at 10:43 PM
Dennis Woltering / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- A lot of people who drive the Crescent City Connection are
counting on bridge tolls going away as scheduled by law at the end of this
But preliminary work by a task force examining the transition to a toll free
bridge indicates the group may well recommend keeping the tolls, and also
raising the fares on metro area ferries.
The state task force that Gov. Bobby Jindal chose to analyze the transition
to a toll-free bridge is still putting together its recommendations.
But it already has some ideas about improving ferryboat service in the metro
It proposes turning the lower coast Algiers to Chalmette ferry over to the
state, and transforming the Gretna ferry into an enhanced pedestrian-only
ferry, serving a number of locations.
"We take smaller, high-speed efficient ferries and go up and down the river
and stop not only at Gretna, but Westwego, Audubon, Jackson Square, down to
Federal City, and just make loops so that we can really bring people back to
the river," said Fay Faron, a CCC Task Force member.
Faron, of Save our Ferries, said the system costs $9 million a year to
operate and serves 2.9 million people.
The task force proposes increasing fares on the ferries. Pedestrians, who
now ride free, would pay $1. Cars that now pay $1 would pay $2.
"You know, who gets a free ferry? Who gets on the bus for free? I think
we've pushed this about as far as we can go, really," she said.
But even with higher fares, she said she believes the bridge tolls will have
to stay in place.
"We have spent hours and hours and hours looking at this to see if it can be
done without tolls, and if it is, the bridge maintenance is just going to go
to pot basically," Faron said. "And we're going to have Huey P. Long on our
But it will take new legislation to keep the tolls.
Right now the law calls for the tolls to go away at the end of this year.
Faron said the task force will make its recommendations to the governor and
state lawmakers on Feb. 1. She believes the task force will recommend
keeping the tolls.
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