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The Essex-Charlotte Ferry carries vehicles from Vermont to New York across the frozen Lake Champlain, Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Essex, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Ferry rates to increase

By: DAN HEATH

---- — PLATTSBURGH — Lake Champlain Transportation is increasing fares for its northern and southern ferry routes.

The fare for a driver and vehicle 19 feet or shorter on the Cumberland Head to Grand Isle and the Essex to Charlotte runs will increase from $9.50 to $10, effective April 3. The rate for each additional passenger will increase 25 cents to $4.

Lake Champlain Transportation Operations Manager Heather Stewart said this is the first rate increase on these two routes since 2008. She said the decision was made because of the rising cost of doing business.

“Our health-care costs are through the stratosphere,” she said.

Another reason is to give their employees raises to meet increases in the cost of living, Stewart said.

The rate for a motorcycle and rider will go up from $6 to $6.50. The rate for an adult bicyclist will increase from the present $4.75 to $5.

Increases for vehicles longer than 19 feet range from 25 cents to $2.50, based on the length.

Stewart said the company’s commuter card or commuter ticket booklets are still the best option. Those provide a 30 percent discount for all travel on the ferry.

The rates do not include the 2 percent fuel surcharge that was implemented March 3.

The rates for the Port Kent to Burlington route remain the same.

The last change to the rate schedule was when the company eliminated round-trip tickets  in 2012.

Stewart said the new rates should be posted on the company’s website, www.ferries.com, in the near future.

Email Dan Heath:dheath@pressrepublican.com

 

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