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[twitter]You have to wonder why people crossing the Golden Ears Bridge are being asked to pay up to $9.40 for each crossing as I sit here aboard an Inland BC Ferry not having paid a dime.

The Ferry between Balfour and Kootenay Bay is free as are 13 other land locked crossings. The Kootenay Bay crossing is the longest free ferry ride in the world, a 35 minute trip aboard either the MV Osprey 2000 or the MV Balfour.
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Considered an extension of the BC Highways system, the boats represent a quick shortcut to the circuitous 3 hour trip it would otherwise take to get between Nelson and the other side of Kootenay Lake (via Creston and Salmo).

Why this boat is free, however, and other lifeline ferries say from the tip of the Sunshine Coast or to any of the Gulf Islands have charges attached to them is puzzling.

And as government looks to squeeze more blood from the stone of taxpaypers more Lower Mainland tolls will soon be levied to cross at the Port Mann Bridge and other mayors are rubbing their palms at the thought of taxing the North Shore crossings as well.

Yet this beautiful ride across remains free.

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