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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 ?
Congress authorized FHWA's Ferry Boat Program to provide funding through State departments of transportation (DOTs) to ferry systems and public entities responsible for developing ferries.
He weakened, finally, down the hill and Ferry Boat swept past him to turn into the straight no more than two lengths off the leader - the only conceivable danger left bar a fall or wholesale blunder.
During the city council's session, Councilor Charles Ligan said more than 2,000 people, including himself, going to the island were stranded in Davao City wharfs last December 21, when the Coast Guard canceled all travel by ferry boats and lanchas sailing between the mainland Samal Island and nearby Talicud Island as the weather bureau declared Signal No.
Some five decades later, I saw her board a ferry boat and head toward the row of seats where I was partly dozing off.
IRISH tourists were lucky to escape alive yesterday after a ferry boat exploded killing three people in Bali.
EcANAKKALE (CyHAN)- A ferry boat and a foreign ship collided with each other softly in Dardanelles Strait on Sunday.
It said a Turkish roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) ship and a ferry boat would begin the trips between the two ports.
A Bulgarian headed the rescue operation of passengers traveling on the ferry boat which sank last week off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
Romaine Mishondo, who survived the ferry boat sinking, said that the vessel was so crowded it reminded her of "a whole market in the village full of people.
A FERRY boat which ran aground off Barmouth was refloated yesterday.
Officers were called to the Ferry Boat Lane area of Sunderland last night to a report of a local man with a Samurai sword.