Leave the Ferry system alone

Putting the chokehold on Ocracoke:

Tolls for ferries to Ocracoke likely would result in fewer tourists visiting there, which are a major part of the island’s economy. Those people may consider a $20 (round-trip) toll too much of a price to pay to check out the barrier island. The Hatteras-Ocracoke route is the most popular in the ferry system.

It would also adversely impact tourism along the entire Outer Banks. A lot of tourists come up from the South through Ocracoke on their way to Hatteras, Nags Head, etc. Cutting the budget for the ferry system is one of the worst "false economy" moves we could make.


Tillis Tolls

Via email from a reader:

The folks in the legislature who want to start charging for the soon-to-be formerly free ferry service may be on to something. The new tolls, I like to call them "Tillis' Tolls," may make a great new trend and revenue stream.

(Oh wait, isn't that another name for a tax hike? Well nevermind. It's a Republican tax hike so it's really not a tax hike at all. It's really a tax cut, or even better, a realignment of budget priorities.)

In any case, I have done a study and conclude that ferry service tolls should be based on number wheel numbers: Unicycles @ $4; bicycles, wheel chairs and motorcycles @ $6; 4-wheel cars@ $10, vehicles with Democratic bumper stickers @ $30, and so on. Also, fees should be doubled for those wishing to leave an island. That could be termed an economic incentive move to help merchants on various islands keep folks captive and spend more while on their visits.

Also, with many islands soon to be privatized, we should be establishing toll booths on island roads themselves.


PS While we're at it, why not extend Tillis' Tolls to elevators. That's right. It costs money to have all those inspectors go around and make sure Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry's picture is properly placed. Make it a law that no elevator will be able to move without first paying a Tillis Toll. Make the charge per floor, so there's a discount for having a lot of people going to a single floor. This could have many benefits. First, it will pay for the costs of elevator inspections, and more. Second, it will create jobs -- there will have to be people who retrofit all the elevators, people to make the change-takers, people to collect the money and, of course, people to repair the things when they break and the elevators go out of service -- which leads to the third and best benefits. This will help address the state's obesity concerns by encourage people who want to avoid the Tillis Toll to take the stairs.

Tillis Tolls, your key to better, and more expensive, living.

Aah! Unicycles!

Due to an unfortunate incident in my past (it wasn't an accident, I should have known), whenever I see the word "unicycle", the back of my skull begins to throb.