Those taking the ferry from North Haven to Shelter Island will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets this summer, as the Suffolk County Legislature approved an increase in rates on June 19, with most fares going up by between 13 and 16 percent.
The roundtrip fare for a car and driver, for example, will go from $15 to $17.
Passengers in non-resident vehicles will be charged $1.00 for the first time.
In its application to the Legislature, South Ferry, Inc., the company that has run the service since 1906, said that it was struggling with rising gas prices and declining passenger counts — and needed to raise fares to reverse losses.
Jay Schneiderman, the county legislator for the East End and an advocate of public transportation, said he regretted that the ferry rates needed to be increased and expressed concern that if fares were too high, those traveling between the North and South forks would chose to drive around through Riverhead, rather than taking the ferry from Greenport, through North Haven and to Shelter Island. However, he said that he couldn’t put a local business in a position of losing money.
“Increased rates are never a good thing, in my mind,” he said. “They’re saying that they have to lose rates — they’re losing money. I don’t want to ask them to lose money.