by Charles A. Monagan
Jul 25, 2011
10:28 AMOn Connecticut
Whether it's in budget-crisis mode or not, the State of Connecticut should stop running - and losing money on - the two ferries that carry cars and passengers across the Connecticut River. The service should be privatized as soon as possible.
According to this story, the townspeople of Glastonbury are gathering to discuss the future of the ferry that runs back and forth to Rocky Hill. The state has said it wants to shut the service down, along with the Chester-East Haddam ferry further south, in order to save around $600,000 a year. Locals claim it as a tourist attraction as well as a useful way of getting from one side of the river to the other.
Isn't this a service that's just begging to be privatized? Couldn't the state grant the river rights to a private operator who'd be able to operate on a schedule and at a rate it deemed appropriate, and maybe even send a small percentage of the proceeds to Hartford? And if no private operator steps forward - well then maybe it's not such a viable enterprise and the state shouldn't be involved in it at all.
A lot of people defend the ferries as quirky, charming throwbacks to earlier times. They are. But we should keep in mind that during those earlier times, the ferries were run by private entities. They ought to be again.Ferry Tale