Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Is Bolivar Ferry Free Because Texans Are Socialists? Or Is It About A Free Ride?

Is the government operated Bolivar Ferry across Galveston Bay free because Texans are socialists? Or, is it because no matter what they say about so-called free markets, Texans love a free ride? 

The Bolivar Ferry is run by the Texas Department of Transportation.

I ride the ferry, which runs between Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula, about twice a year. I park and walk on. That way I don’t have to wait in the long line of traffic. I get a nice 50 minute round trip and a chance to see ships and, maybe, dolphins.

Each time I ride the ferry, I imagine that the Texans on board are realizing the virtues of government as they cross the bay.

They are saying to each other, “This nice free ferry trip is a reminder that government has a role to play in our lives. When we reach land, we shall compose a letter to our elected representatives in favor of state-run health care.”

Regretfully, a recent Houston Chronicle article suggests ferry riders have something else on their minds. They are grumpy that they must wait so long to board the free ferry. Crew members to run the boats are hard to find because potential workers can make more money in the private sector. 

In reply to grumbling ferry passengers I say—“How about having an income tax in Texas? Then maybe you’d have better services.”

Have to wait in a long line to board the ferry this weekend? Bring a book. Talk to your family. Or, even better, demand a tax structure in Texas able to meet the needs of this huge state.

July 12, 2007 - Posted by | Galveston, Sea Life, Taxes---Yes!, Texas


  1. I would say that the solution to the ferry problem would be to cut all government funding to it. Privatize it. Charge admission (enough to cover the cost of actually running the service) People who do not want to pay it will go through the causeway alleviating the traffic problems in Port Bolivar. And those who don’t use the ferry will not have to pay for it by increased taxes. Also taxes could be cut leaving less of a burden on the taxpayers who are footing the bill. Or it could be scrapped all together and a bridge built in its place which would alleviate traffic, lower cost of operations, and make access to Galveston and Port Bolivar A LOT easier.

    Comment by Mark | October 15, 2007

  2. Thank you for this comment. I do not agree. People riding the ferry should simply realize that government does many good things in our society.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 16, 2007

  3. That is the kind of thinking that built the Soviet Union. The more we depend on Government to help us the less we help ourselves.

    Comment by Mark | October 17, 2007

  4. Wrong. It’s the idea behind Social Security and college grants and national parks. It has nothing to do with the Soviet Union.

    Life is tough and people need help.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 18, 2007

  5. People need help because they are too lazy to get up off their asses and help themselves. If they can’t pull themselves by the bootstraps and become productive members of society. Why should I, The Taxpayer, The Person who is having his money taken by gunpoint to give to someone else,Have to foot the bill for someone else’s laziness? Wealth redistribution was a big part of the Soviet Union and That is exactly what Social Security is. You are taking MY MONEY from MY WALLET and MY PAYCHECK which I spent 60 to 70 hours a week to earn for MYSELF and MY FAMILY. and not by my choice Giving MY MONEY to someone else who DID NOT EARN IT. DID NOT WORK the 60 to 70 Hours a week it took to make it. If you want to go to college, Pay for it yourself! Can’t afford it? Too bad! you should’ve saved up instead of frittering your money away on stupid crap. Don’t ask me to pay for it. You are not my kid. I will send my own kids to college. That is my responsibility. National Parks? IF you would like a park. BUY THE LAND YOURSELF AND BUILD ONE! Again it is not my responsibility to provide fun and frolic for others. I am not using it. Why should I pay for it?

    You seem to forget that it is not the governments money. It is mine, My Neighbors, The Companies we work for’s money. And we are sick and tired of it being taken away from us to pay for someone else’s stupidity.

    Comment by Mark | October 24, 2007

  6. Life is tough and people need help.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | November 9, 2007

  7. Mark, how do you think they should pay for the bridge? Don’t you think it would be unfair for taxpayers to have to pay for a bridge that they don’t use?

    Comment by Bill | January 24, 2008

  8. I think if we look at the fact that 1. It attracks tourists, 2. Expands the base of employees and employers by connecting Bolivar to Galveston, 3. Save a lot of gas by allowing people to avoid the long round-about route between Bolivar Penninsula and Galveston, it looks as though it might actually pay for it self. I think it should be rightly considered simply a part of the transportation system of Texas like a bridge or bypass route. A good transportation system helps all.

    When we have visited Galveston in the past for SPring Break we have traveled to Bolivar and east to site see and usually have spent money there. I am sure they appreciate the business and should also appreciate that we probably wouldn’t go if we had to go the long way around.

    Comment by Dave | April 3, 2008

  9. Dave–Great comment. Thank you. It’s pretty much a basic service of government as you say.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | April 3, 2008

  10. mark for one thing the bridge plans that u heard about have been scrapped and i doubt seriously that they will every charge fees just to use the ferry. it has always been free and always will be.
    i have several friends that work within the ferry system.
    there will not be any charges.
    if u dont like the ferry go some where else

    Comment by bolivar resident | July 4, 2008

  11. mark if youre that unhappy maybe u should relocate. u sound like one of those tourists who get loud and stupid for no reason.
    ta ta for now

    Comment by bolivar resident | July 4, 2008

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