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A specially constructed vessel to bring passengers and property across rivers and other bodies of water from one shoreline to another, making contact with a thoroughfare at each terminus. The landing place for a boat. A right or privilege to maintain a vessel upon a body of water in order to transport people and their vehicles across it in exchange for payment of a reasonable toll. Technically a ferry is considered a continuation of a highway from one side of the body of water that it passes over to the other.

The privilege of handling a ferry is called a franchise. A ferry franchise is a permit from the state to a specifically named individual giving that person the authority to operate a ferry. It is a general prerequisite to the lawful establishment of a public ferry. The operator of a ferry is not relieved of the duty to obtain a franchise by formation of a company, since the franchise becomes a contract between the owner and the state.

Usually the grant of a ferry franchise implicitly gives the recipient the power to collect tolls. Ferriage is the fare that the ferry operator may charge. The unauthorized establishment of another ferry within competing distance of an already existing one constitutes an infringement of the ferry franchise, even in the absence of physical interference.

A ferry franchise can be terminated either by expiration of its term or by revocation by the licensing authorities. It is generally subject to renewal, for which the original owner is usually given a preference.

A public ferry is for use by the public at large, whereas a private ferry is operated solely for the benefit of its proprietor.

The state has intrinsic authority to regulate and control ferries that operate within its borders. It may exercise such power by law or by contract with the operator. The state may regulate the transportation of dangerous articles, the nature and frequency of service, and the location of terminals. In addition, it may impose a license fee or tax on the operation of ferries within its boundaries.


a legal right to charge for transporting passengers by boat. See REGALIA MINORA.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ferris was jailed for life in 2003 for the brutal murder of 15–year–old Jason Hutchison in Irvine.
The diocese is named in the lawsuit for, among other things, failing to protect Morrison from Ferris, an employee of the diocese.
Mr Ferris had admitted he had made an error," alleged Mr Adams.
Shepherd spent his time riding the Ferris wheel playing videogames, including online sessions of "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" with friends in Chicago, watching the James Bond movies and the recent Batman trilogy.
ULSTER: S Terblanche; A Trimble, D Cave, P Wallace, C Gilroy; I Humphreys, R Pienaar; T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller, D Tuohy, S Ferris, C Henry, P Wannenburg.
Ferris of Newport was fined a total of pounds 210 after admitting three charges of giving illegal driving instruction.
Ferris Holidays and its 18 drivers pleaded guilty to 57 offences over two months.
Warders are now trying to introduce him to fellow cons - but the only friend he has managed to make is Ferris.
1st Place -- Nicholas Korhonen, a West Ferris Secondary School student won $800 for his business plan "Frosty Treats" and will be going on to compete at the Regional level.
In 2004, Ferris served six weeks of a four-month prison sentence after admitting dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol after being almost three times over the limit when stopped following a police chase in Newmarket.
Ferris, an artist for nearly 60 years, has more than 50 works in the Air Force's art collection and two murals in the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.
has received a 10 billion yen project to build the world's largest Ferris wheel and nearby commercial facility in Singapore, the two companies said Tuesday.