In the story above, remarks are made regarding the Mississippi River ferries and their cost to the Crescent City Connection. You can read the story but it says the ferries lose $21,000 a day.
Being a weekly and often daily traveller on The Algiers ferry I don’t doubt this statistic. You get pretty contemplative out there on the river and doing the simple math of counting the cars and doing the numbers shows they probably can’t break even.
But the thing is they only charge for cars. And the number of cars on the bridge are always outnumbered by pedestrians and bicyclists. So start by charging these folks a quarter. See how that works and then raise the fees over the next few years. Also, there are many people, such as myself and several of my friends who take the ferry every day. Why not offer these people, yearly or monthly passes? Or perhaps asking the port to help out in managing cost? The DOT? How about charging for traffic both ways? How about instead of easing the hours of the ferry increasing them and charging more? My number one reason for not taking the ferry is usually the wait. So if the wait were cut to 15 minutes, I would be willing to pay the dollar to take the boat. Especially if a card swipe system similar to toll tags were implemented.