For those of you that take the ferry across Lake Champlain you should be aware that Lake Champlain Transportation (LCT) has done away with round trip ticket sales as of January 3, 2012. Only one way tickets are available now. What is the reason for this? Apparently the use of round trips tickets caused too many problems; “too many customers were losing their tickets, leading to heated exchanges with dockmasters on return trips.” [Originally from an interview in the Burlington Free Press that is no longer available. Read an article here from the Press Republican for more details.]
WCAX broke this news a short time ago, and you can go there to see some personal reactions the rise in prices.
With the recent fuel price increases, LCT has been adding a fuel surcharge to the sale of all tickets, and with the discontinuation of round trip tickets this means that trips across the lake are more expensive than ever. When the cost to LCT falls below $3.00 a gallon, the surcharge will be removed.
All crossings are affected, but of course our local ferry is the Charlotte-Essex crossing. Here is the breakdown on prices there (some price difference depending on crossing location): Buying a one-way ticket costs $9.50, plus the 3 percent fuel surcharge, brings the price to $9.80. Buying two of these tickets, going one way then going back home, brings the cost of a ’round-trip’ to $19.60. A round-trip ticket, when it was available, was $18, before the fuel surcharge, bringing the cost to with the surcharge to $18.55, or $1.05 less than two one-way tickets. And remember every extra passenger in the car is another $3.75 (for adults, 12+) or $1.50 (for kids 6-12) bringing the price up even more! So be aware the next time you cross Lake Champlain that you will pay a few dollars more than you’re used to.