News Releases

6/29/2016: Passenger Ferry Study Released At DOT Board Meeting

Passenger Ferry Study Released At DOT Board Meeting

Posted 6/29/2016 9:24:25 AM

Raleigh - Summer congestion on the North Carolina Ferry Division’s Hatteras route could be significantly relieved by two passenger-only ferries, according to the results of a study done for the state. The Ferry Division unveiled those results today at the Board of Transportation’s Multi-Modal committee meeting in Raleigh. The study by infrastructure engineering company Volkert recommends two 100-passenger ferries making eight round-trips a day between Hatteras and Ocracoke Village. It also recommends a $15 round-trip toll, as well as a transit loop run by Hyde County to take visitors from the terminal through Ocracoke Village and to various island attractions such as the lighthouse and the National Park Service’s Pony Pens. “We want to thank Volkert for the time and effort they put into this study,” said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “It is a very thorough and comprehensive document that lays out the opportunities and challenges we face at Hatteras in the summer travel season. It gives us many things to consider as we move forward.” The study involved a year-long look at ferry service between Ocracoke and Hatteras, and included several meetings with local residents, as well as passenger surveys during the peak of the summer. The study also included a trial run by the Provincetown III, a ferry that spends its summers taking passengers between Boston and Provincetown, Massachusetts. The study examined four other alternatives to relieve the Hatteras congestion problem, including a year-round dredging program to return to the original “short route”, an increased number of departures on the current route, encouraging walk-on passengers on the current route, and a passenger ferry to the Division’s South Dock Terminal.  The study concluded that the passenger ferry to Ocracoke Village would be the safest, most efficient option, and that 25 percent of current ferry riders would take the passenger ferry service and be willing to pay a $15 round-trip toll. The study notes that infrastructure improvements, including passenger terminals, parking areas, and pedestrian transit on Ocracoke are needed before any such service can begin. A full copy of the Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study is on the NCDOT website. ***NCDOT***
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The Provincetown III visits Ocracoke on a passenger ferry trial run in May 2015.
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5/2/2016: N.C. Ferry System Begins Summer Schedule Switch May 3

N.C. Ferry System Begins Summer Schedule Switch May 3

Posted 5/2/2016 3:49:21 PM

Manns Harbor - As seasonal visitors begin their summer treks to the North Carolina coast, the North Carolina Ferry System is switching to peak season schedules on its popular Hatteras-Ocracoke route Tuesday, May 3. The number of daily trips on the route will double from 18 departures from each side to 36. The summer schedule will run through October 10. In addition, the Ferry Division is once again encouraging travelers to make their trips to Ocracoke Island earlier in the day to avoid peak travel times that can sometimes lead to long wait times. “Our statistics show that people who arrive at Hatteras before 9 a.m. can usually avoid long lines,” said Ferry Division Communications Officer Tim Hass, “and if they travel between Friday and Monday have an even better chance of getting onto a ferry quickly.” Three weeks later, the Ferry Division will also increase Ocracoke access via its Pamlico Sound routes, with five daily round trips from Cedar Island and four from Swan Quarter beginning May 24. Those summer schedules will last through Sept. 26. “We look forward to serving thousands of residents and visitors this summer on all our routes,” said Ferry Division director Ed Goodwin. “There’s no better place to spend time in the summer than the North Carolina coast, and the Ferry System is very proud to be a part of that experience.” Schedules for all seven of the North Carolina Ferry System’s routes can be found at: http://www.ncdot.gov/download/transit/ferry/ferryschedule.pdf ***NCDOT***
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3/3/2016: N.C. Ferry Crew Receives Meritorious Service Award From Coast Guard

N.C. Ferry Crew Receives Meritorious Service Award From Coast Guard

Posted 3/3/2016 3:00:49 PM

RALEIGH - The crew of the NCDOT Ferry M/V Silver Lake was honored today with a Meritorious Public Service Award from the United States Coast Guard for the crew’s actions in rescuing a father and son whose boat had overturned in Swan Quarter Bay. “The bravery and acts of heroism are a testament to the professionalism and caliber of the Motor Vessel Silver Lake crew," said Coast Guard Acting Sector Commander Benjamin Cooper. “The father and son are alive today as a direct result.” The incident occurred Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, as the Silver Lake’s was on its 9:30 a.m. run between Ocracoke and Swan Quarter. As the ferry approached Swan Quarter, Captain Mark Piner noticed an overturned boat in the water with two people clinging to it. Piner immediately ordered the crew to launch the ferry’s rescue boat, and crew members Daniel Smith and Simon Robinette piloted it to the capsized vessel and pulled George and Justin Peele out of the water and into the rescue boat. After determining that both men were unharmed, the crew brought the father and son onboard the M/V Silver Lake and the ferry completed its run to Swan Quarter. Upon reaching the ferry terminal, crew member Robinette returned both men to their vehicle at a nearby boat ramp. “We are incredibly proud of the Silver Lake crew for its life-saving actions last August,” said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “All of our crews are trained extensively in responding to emergencies on the water, and it’s good to know how much that training pays off.” Receiving the award today were Captain Piner and Crew Members Smith and Robinette, as well as Chief Engineers Gerry Gillikin and David P. Styron and Crew Member Randy K. Willis.  ***NCDOT***
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The crew of the NC Ferry M/V Silver Lake recevied a Meritorius Public Service Award Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Raleigh. From L-R: Crew Members Simon Robinette, William D. Smith, and Randy Willis, Captain Mark Piner, Chief Engineer David P. Styron. Not pictured: Gerry Gillikin)
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1/31/2016: NCDOT Ferry Roanoke Returns To Hatteras After Saturday Grounding

NCDOT Ferry Roanoke Returns To Hatteras After Saturday Grounding

Posted 1/31/2016 3:28:04 PM

Hatteras – At approximately 10:40 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, the North Carolina Department of Transportation Ferry System vessel M/V Roanoke ran soft aground on its way from Ocracoke to Hatteras while maneuvering around a dredge pipe in the vicinity of navigational aid 3 in Barney Slough. The crew of the Roanoke immediately confirmed there were no injuries to the five passengers or the six crew members. Over the next few hours, several attempts were made to free the ferry from the shoal. The Ferry Division then contacted the United States Coast Guard Hatteras Inlet to assist in removing passengers from the Roanoke, and a USCG shallow water craft was dispatched to the scene to transport the passengers to Hatteras, where they were provided meals and accommodations if requested. As the tide rose, ferry crews were able to free the Roanoke from the shoal at 11:21 p.m, with the assistance of the tug Albemarle. The Roanoke then continued under its own power to Hatteras, where passenger vehicles were unloaded and secured. All vehicles were reclaimed as of 9 a.m. Sunday morning. No injuries, vessel damage or pollution has been reported. The United States Coast Guard will complete a full inspection of the Roanoke on Sunday before the ferry is returned to service. ***NCDOT***
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12/2/2015: NCDOT Ferry Division Extends Peak Season Schedules In 2016

NCDOT Ferry Division Extends Peak Season Schedules In 2016

Posted 12/2/2015 11:59:40 AM

MANNS HARBOR - Summer travel season is getting a little longer on the North Carolina Department of Transportation's Ferry System. The North Carolina Ferry Division released its 2016 schedules today, and while most 2015 departure times remained intact, the Ferry Division made a few adjustments to the timing of seasonal summer schedules after analyzing ridership data from previous years. Among the changes: Summer schedules were lengthened by four weeks on the two Pamlico Sound routes (Swan Quarter-Ocracoke and Cedar Island-Ocracoke), now starting the first week of May and ending during the last week of September. The summer schedule was adjusted forward on the Hatteras-Ocracoke route, starting later in the Spring (May 24), but ending later in the fall (October 10). “We are always taking a look at ridership patterns and adjusting our schedules accordingly,” said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “We’ve noticed more ridership on our Pamlico Sound routes in the spring, with passenger totals on the Hatteras route now staying strong into October. We’ve made a few changes in the schedule in an effort to meet that demand while remaining responsible with taxpayer dollars.” The only other 2016 schedule change is an added off-season weekend run on the Southport-Fort Fisher route. No changes were made to the Currituck-Knotts Island, Bayview-Aurora, or Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach routes. The complete 2016 schedule can be found online at http://www.ncdot.gov/download/transit/ferry/ferryschedule2016.pdf.(NCDOT)
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