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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 ?
The Department for Regional Development currently operates a vehicle ferry service in Strangford Lough between Strangford and Portaferry with two vehicle ferries and a backup passenger ferry.
The blaze broke out aboard a DFDS passenger ferry sailing between North Shields and Amsterdam on December 28 last year.
SEOUL (TAP) - All 15 crew members involved in the navigation of the ill-fated South Korean passenger ferry Sewol are now reportedly in custody, facing criminal negligence charges.
About 160 passengers, including high school students, were plucked to safety on Wednesday in a dramatic rescue from a South Korean passenger ferry sinking with 475 on board, officials said, although at least two people had died.
The twenty-page statistical report is based on monthly returns from the leading passenger ferry operators in the UK.
Manila: The burial of 45 unidentified people who died when a passenger ferry sank off Cebu will take place on September 25, more than a month after the sea accident, sources said.
In a horrific accident, a passenger ferry carrying around 800 passengers collided with a cargo ship and sank within minutes claiming at least 28 lives while over 200 passengers are reportedly still missing.
The incident comes after a ferry collision claimed 39 lives in October in the city's worst sea disaster in decades, and also follows a crash between a passenger ferry and a barge earlier this month, in which more than 30 people were injured.
Summary: DUBAI - Port Rashid, operated by DP World, on Monday said it resumed passenger ferry services from the newly-upgraded and refurbished terminal to port cities across the Gulf region.
Crewmembers aboard an Indonesian passenger ferry issued a call for help Monday morning to the Japan Coast Guard after the vessel began taking in water off Yakushima Island, Kagoshima prefecture, the coast guard said.
Last year, Egypt's Maritime Inspection Commission stopped the passenger ferry Oman owned by the Gesr el-Arab company, which is owned by Egypt, Jordan and Iraq from sailing from the Egyptian port of Nuweiba to the Jordanian port of Aqaba, after detecting technical faults that would impede its journey.
THE captain of a cargo ship involved in a collision with a passenger ferry in Belfast Lough has been charged with being over the alcohol limit.