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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a legal right to charge for transporting passengers by boat. See REGALIA MINORA.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
A decision on a course of action will be made in the coming weeks." It is feared Ferris, who has medical staff treating Stephen are considering several options to ensure that he makes a full and complete return to play.
They can be contacted at www.polymerambassadors.org, and the Ferris State University program can be contacted at www.ferris.edu.
Ferris, a graduate of Stanford University and now a resident in a Waldport mobile home park, was relentless in his efforts to follow his instincts, and to heed Piercy's advice.
But any of this good work is ripped asunder by the very fact that Martin Ferris is a Sinn Fein/IRA thug.
In November, Ferris was fined pounds 51,000 and had to pay Vosa's costs.
"Persian cats must be assisted during birth, and so breeders spend many sleepless nights waiting for deliveries," says Ferris. "Even so, there is a 20 percent fatality rate during birth."
The HRA's PR manager Paul Struthers said that they would be contacting Ferris and the News of the World for their evidence of wrongdoing and did not discount further punishment for the rider.
1st Place -- Kayla Tennant, a West Ferris Secondary School student won $500 for her marketing plan "The Table is Set".
"Ferris State interviewed service technicians nationwide and in Canada, and used the information to create a 65-page task analysis, from which the 200-question test was developed.
"As the chairman of IPST, I have worked closely with Jim and have great respect for the energy and integrity that he brings to his work," commented Pete Correll, chairman and CEO of Georgia-Pacific Corp., who presented the award to Ferris. "Jim led IPST through the most difficult period in its 75-year history.
But, first, Ferris has to perfect the machine's electromagnetic levitation system, which supports and propels the snow deck.