Cape May–Lewes Ferry Prices Changing for Delaware and New Jersey Residents!
CheapNailsalonsnearme–In 2024, travelers utilizing the Cape May-Lewes Ferry will encounter a revised fare structure, as announced by the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA). This change, discussed in their Virtual Public Hearing before the Christmas holiday weekend, isn’t solely an increase in costs. Heath Gehrke, the Director of Ferry Operations, highlighted that fare adjustments, which occur biennially, are essential to manage the escalating operational expenses.
The DRBA’s briefing revealed a stark contrast between the ferry’s revenues, amounting to $14 million, and its operational costs of $25 million. This indicates that only 60% of the operating costs are covered by the current fares. To address this, the DRBA is introducing changes aimed not just at financial sustainability but also at enhancing customer experience.
The rate increases for one-way include:
- Vehicles under 25 feet to cost $1 more in-season (April 1st to October 31st)
- A $2 increase for vehicles measured between 25 feet and 44 feet in-season
- Vehicles over 45 feet will see a $3 increase
- An increase of $2 for shuttle fares
- The no-show fee will increase from $10 to $25 for those who do not show up for their reservation to travel on the Ferry
- Non-reserved travelers will be charged a $2 handling fee
- Riders who want to receive Priority Boarding will be charged $5
A key aspect of the new fare structure is the incentive for round-trip bookings. Gehrke noted that passengers booking round trips would see an approximate saving of $11, encouraging advanced reservations and reducing the frequency of no-shows, which often lead to departure delays. 2024 will also bring cost reductions in various segments:
- A Loyalty Rewards Program will be introduced, offering points redeemable for future travels. Additionally, every tenth trip will reward members with a complimentary passenger or driver journey.
- Children aged 6 to 13 will enjoy a reduced fare, dropping by $1 in both directions, while children under six continue to travel free.
- Commercial Travel Accounts benefit from a 30% reduction on all published fares for their vehicles.
These initiatives are designed to foster increased family and business travel, potentially enhancing DRBA’s long-term revenue, while offering immediate savings to the customers.
It’s crucial to note that the Cape May-Lewes Ferry and DRBA operate independently of taxpayer funding, relying solely on customer-generated revenues, with occasional federal transportation grants. The upcoming fare changes, pending approval by the DRBA Board of Trustees, will take effect from April 2024.