Definition of Ferry

Commercial transportation of people, vehicles, goods, etc. across body of water. Also, boat or vessel used in such transportation. In law it is treated as a franchise, and defined as the exclusive right to carry passengers and freight across a river, lake or arm of the sea, or to connect a continuous line of road leading from one side of the water to the other. Canadian Pac. Ry. Co. v. U. S„ C.C.A.Wash., 73 F.2d 831, 832.

A continuation of the highway from one side of the water over which it passes to the other, for transportation of passengers or of travelers with their vehicles and such other property as they may carry or have with them. U. S. v. Puget Sound Nav. Co., D.C.Wash., 24 F.Supp. 431, 432.

A liberty to have a boat on a stream, river, arm of the sea, lake, or other body of water for the transportation of passengers and vehicles with their contents, for a reasonable toll. Sometimes limited to the landing place. State Highway Commission v. Smith, 250 Ky. 269, 62 S.W.2d 1044.

Whether a boat is a "ferry” and comprises a continuous part of the road or highway depends on length of run, type of ship, whether it was operated under state franchise or federal certificate of convenience, whether it was equipped to carry cargo, extent to which service to passengers is emphasized and extent to which its use is necessitated by lack of land transportation. Alaska S. S. Co. v. Federal Maritime Commission, C.A.Wash., 399 F.2d 623, 628.

A public ferry is one to which all the public have the right to resort, for which a regular fare is established, and the ferryman is a common carrier, bound to take over all who apply, and bound to keep his ferry in operation and good repair.

A private ferry is one mainly for the use of the owner, and though he may take pay for ferriage, he does not follow it as a business. His ferry is not open to the public at its demand, and he may or may not keep it in operation.

That's the definition of Ferry in Black's Law Dictionary 6th Edition. Courtesy of Cekhukum.com.