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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 ?
Everything should be fine with traveling by ferryboat except for one thing: the stink of the river.
In a written statement released on Monday, the Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster & Emergency Management Directorate said that ferryboat "Ankara" reached Misrata after leaving Izmir on April 9.
in GE-zelyaly Pier in Mudanya district of Bursa, while the ferryboat was trying to approach to the pier.
ANKARA, Apr 10, 2011 (TUR) -- The Turkish prime ministry said on Saturday that the "Ankara" ferryboat, which departed from Turkey's western Cesme port on Friday, carried 45 Libyan nationals and a Palestinian who had been brought to Turkey for medical treatment back to the Libyan city of Benghazi.
Bulgaria and Turkey have agreed for ferryboat connections to be developed by opening regular ferry lines between Varna and the Turkish Black Sea ports of Samsun and Zonguldak.
The alarm was raised just before 10pm when the ferryboat contacted emergency services.
During the walk, ystanbul city lines ferryboat, who passed from the Bosporus at the moment, greeted the two leaders by the siren call.
Town Centre Citroen - Sunderland is at Ferryboat Lane, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR5 3JN.
ANKARA, Apr 5, 2011 (TUR) -- Ferryboat "Ankara", carrying 321 injured Libyans, is expected to dock at the Turkish western port of Cesme at around 15.00 hours on Tuesday.
Late afternoon with its lengthening shadows, As I stared out across the water to a distant ship Aflame on the glowing horizon, The rhythmic pulsing of the lighthouse, the ferryboat In the bay in its sweep across the harbour, The lit windows in the houses on the islands beyond, Everything whispered calmness, gentleness, away at Last from the city, nearing my doorstep - home.
We had a lovely little service at the rear of a ferryboat to spread his ashes in the Mersey.
The Welsh company will tomorrow open the doors to the Masala Bazaar store selling a wide range of Indian and Oriental foods and ingredients next to its existing depot on Sunrise Enterprise Park, Ferryboat Lane.