The North Carolina Ferry System may well meet the same fate as the fabled Dodo Bird.

Originally discovered by Dutch explorers around 1600 on an island in the Indian Ocean, the Dodo became extinct less than 80 years later due to deforestation, hunting, and destruction of their nests by animals brought to the island by the Dutch.

In today’s world, General Assembly legislators (who represent areas of the state west of Interstate 95) seem hell-bent on taxing ferry routes across the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers. Insiders concede that any revenues raised from newly mandated tolls are unlikely to yield substantive monies, yet are quite likely to shrivel ferry ridership.

Unlike ferries now in operation to serve mostly Outer Banks tourism, the traffic on the Pamlico and Neuse crossings are in large part workforce generated – employees of Nutrien in Beaufort County and Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in Craven County fall into that category.

Economics 101 says taxing anything usually means less becomes available. A tax (or toll) on our ferries might well lead to their ultimate extinction – just like the Dodo Bird.