DRBA Commission Modifies Cape May - Lewes Ferry Fare Structure
Modest Vehicle Fare Increase; Authorizes Blue and Red Discount
New Castle, Del. – Yesterday, the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) Commissioners unanimously approved a new fare schedule for the Cape May - Lewes Ferry at its monthly meeting held in the James Julian Boardroom at the Authority’s Administrative Complex in New Castle, Delaware. Effective April 1, 2019, the new ferry rate schedule is designed to improve farebox recovery and offer additional discounts to encourage frequent customers, recognize first responders, and decrease the cost of travel for families.
With the adoption of Resolution 19-03, the Commissioners approved the following:
- Modest fare increase of $1 in all vehicle classes in-season (April-October). No increase in the “Return Trip” value fare.
- Creation of a new fare category for 3-wheel motorcycles or Motorcycles with Trailers
- Implement passenger discounts for First Responders on a trial basis
- Eliminate fare for children ages 6-13 during the off-season (November-March).
“While reducing the operating deficit is a goal with any new fare schedule, we hope to encourage more people to use the service through some discount fares, and by making the ferry more affordable for families, especially those with older children,” said Heath Gehrke, Director of Ferry Operations. “Whether it’s visiting relatives over the winter holidays or getting away for long weekend, a family of four with two children can use the Ferry at a cost savings of nearly 20% during the November through March time period.”
In-season from April – October, all vehicle fare class increase $1. Return trip value fares remain unchanged, an almost 18% discount on the one-way fare. Passenger fares did not increase and have not done so since 2009. With the exception of discounts, off-season rates were not affected.
Gehrke added that a new “Blue and Red” discount for first responders is available to all police, fire and EMS personnel. Like the military discount, the customer must show a valid form of I.D. to receive $2 off the adult passenger rate. “We value our first responders and wanted to implement a special discount,” Gehrke said. “Like with any discount program, we will evaluate the impact of this promotional fare on traffic and make recommendations to the Commissioners at the end of the trial period on whether to continue the program.”
The Cape May - Lewes Ferry fare rates were last adjusted in 2016. Those fare changes included a nominal increase of $2.00 in-season and $1.00 off-season applied across all vehicle classes; a new return trip discount fare for longer vehicles and a new 25 trip passenger pass for $150.
About the Cape May Lewes Ferry
The Cape May – Lewes Ferry (CMLF) is owned and operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962. The CMLF is open year-round and has carried more than forty million passengers since its inception on July 1, 1964. In 2018, the ferry service, which connects Victorian Cape May, New Jersey, and historic Lewes, Delaware, transported approximately 275,000 vehicles and nearly 1 million passengers. For schedule, rates and other program information, please visit the ferry’s website at www.cmlf.com, or call toll free, 800-643-3779.
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