News Releases

5/11/2017: Summer Heats Up on the N.C. Coast with Additional Ferry Runs

Summer Heats Up on the N.C. Coast with Additional Ferry Runs

Posted 5/11/2017 9:43:28 AM

Manns Harbor – Longer days and warmer weather mean visitors will soon begin their annual summer treks to the North Carolina coast. Once there, they’ll be greeted with extra ferries to get them to their destinations, as the N.C. Ferry System transitions to its summer schedules beginning May 16. The popular Hatteras-Ocracoke route will begin running 36 round-trip departures each day between the two islands, up from 28 round-trips in the spring. On busier days, there will also be unscheduled ‘shuttle’ runs to help ease any backups that occur. Motorists are still encouraged to be early birds by arriving at Hatteras before the late morning traffic peak, especially on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. ”Like any other mode of transportation, the ferry system has peak travel times in the summer when the wait will be longer,” said Ferry Division Interim Director Jed Dixon. “By avoiding those peak times, travelers can get to their destinations a lot faster.” On May 23, the Ferry System will bolster the schedule on its two Pamlico Sound routes. The Swan Quarter-Ocracoke route will go from three daily round trips to four, and the Cedar Island-Ocracoke route will go from three daily round trips to five. Motorists headed to Cedar Island this summer are advised to leave early, as construction on U.S. 70 and N.C. 12 may cause driving delays of up to 30 minutes on the way to the ferry terminal. A printable schedule for all seven of the Ferry System’s routes is available online at www.ncdot.gov/download/transit/ferry/ferryschedule.pdf.  (NCDOT)
Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution

View on NCDOT.gov

1/12/2017: 2017 Hatteras Vendor Priority Passes Still Available

2017 Hatteras Vendor Priority Passes Still Available

Posted 1/12/2017 10:27:46 AM

(Hatteras) - The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division continues to accept applications for 2017 Vendor Priority Loading Passes on the Hatteras Inlet route. As of January 1, any vehicle wishing to use the priority loading lane must have a valid 2017 Priority Pass. Under legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2016, applicants must pay a $150 fee for each pass and be verified as a provider of regular commercial services to Ocracoke Island. The pass holder must also make at least 24 trips to Ocracoke annually. A business may purchase as many passes as they need to do business. Applications can be found on the Ferry Division’s website or picked up at the Hatteras Ferry Terminal. Completed applications will take a minimum of one week for processing. Upon approval, the fees can be paid by cashier’s check or money order and the pass will be issued at the terminal. The new legislation does not affect the Ocracoke Resident Priority Passes, which are issued free to Ocracoke residents every three years. (NCDOT)
View on NCDOT.gov

12/21/2016: 2016 Brings Stability, Storms and New Service to N.C. Ferry Division

2016 Brings Stability, Storms and New Service to N.C. Ferry Division

Posted 12/21/2016 12:48:01 AM

(Manns Harbor) - The North Carolina Ferry System met the challenges of two storm-based evacuations, found stability through new legislation and took the first steps toward establishing new passenger ferry service during a very busy and productive 2016. “This was a very good year for the Ferry System,” said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “Under the leadership of Governor Pat McCrory, we’ve ended years of tolling uncertainty and solved the issue of funding ferry replacement. We’re developing a new passenger ferry service for Ocracoke that will alleviate our summertime congestion problems. And we quickly and efficiently got thousands of North Carolina residents and visitors out of harm’s way when storms threatened the coast.” A look back at the Ferry Division’s year reveals several major milestones that put both the importance and potential of the state’s ferry system on full display. This year’s state budget, signed by Governor McCrory, ended years of uncertainty over ferry tolls by keeping all four of the system’s untolled routes free to the public. In addition, it provided for a recurring expenditure of $4 million per year to replace aging ferry vessels. The budget also provided a one-time expenditure of $3.5 million to establish a passenger ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke’s Silver Lake terminal. Planning for the passenger ferry service, which also received a National Park Service grant, is already underway, with a projected start date in the summer of 2018. Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew impacted the North Carolina coast this year, resulting in the mandatory evacuation of Ocracoke Island. Over the course of those two emergencies (one during the busy Labor Day weekend), North Carolina ferries carried 3,251 passengers and 1,447 vehicles to safety. In addition, the N.C. Ferry Division christened its new, state-of-the-art Dredge Manteo in May and opened a new terminal/visitors center in Currituck in August. A heroic ferry crew rescued boaters from a charter boat fire near Swan Quarter in July. Looking ahead to 2017, the N.C. Ferry Division will celebrate its 70th Anniversary, open a new terminal/office building at Cherry Branch and start construction on new facilities at Hatteras and Ocracoke in anticipation of passenger ferry service beginning in 2018. “The Ferry Division charted a new course in 2016,” said Goodwin. “I think the people of North Carolina are going to like where we’re going.” (NCDOT)
Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution

View on NCDOT.gov

11/30/2016: Applications for 2017 Ocracoke Vendor Priority Passes Now Available

Applications for 2017 Ocracoke Vendor Priority Passes Now Available

Posted 11/30/2016 10:57:58 AM

Hatteras – The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division is now accepting applications for 2017 Vendor Priority Loading Passes on the Hatteras Inlet route.  Under legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2016, applicants must pay a $150 fee for the pass and be verified as a provider of regular commercial services to Ocracoke Island. The pass holder must also make at least 24 trips to Ocracoke annually. Applications can be found on the Ferry Division’s website or picked up at the Hatteras Ferry Terminal. Completed applications will take a minimum of one week for processing. Upon approval, the fees can be paid by cashier’s check or money order and the pass will be issued at the terminal. The new legislation does not affect the Ocracoke Resident Priority Passes, which are issued free to Ocracoke residents every three years. (NCDOT)
View on NCDOT.gov

9/2/2015: NCDOT Ferry Division Lays Out Future Possibilities For Hatteras-Ocracoke Route

NCDOT Ferry Division Lays Out Future Possibilities For Hatteras-Ocracoke Route

Posted 9/2/2015 12:29:57 PM

(HATTERAS) - Faced with a summertime congestion problem on its popular Hatteras-Ocracoke route, the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division held meetings this week to get public input on possible solutions to ease congestion and return Ocracoke Island visitation to pre-recession levels. The meetings, held in Ocracoke on Monday and Hatteras Tuesday, are part of an NCDOT Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study that could lead to the establishment of passenger-only ferry service between Hatteras Village and Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Harbor by the summer of 2017. Theoretically, the passenger ferries would drop visitors off directly in Ocracoke Village, where Hyde County would provide tram service around the village and to attractions such as the Ocracoke Lighthouse and the British Cemetery. The passenger ferries would be in addition to the Ferry Division’s current car ferry service.  “There are a lot of moving parts here, but if they all come together, this could solve a lot of the issues for Ocracoke visitation,” said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “It would ease the backups we have on the car ferry route, and bring more visitors with fewer cars into the village. On the surface, it seems like a win-win all around.” Other solutions are included in the study as well, such as year-round dredging of the now-closed “short” car ferry route, putting more car ferries into service on the current route, or loading more walk-on passengers onto the existing departures. But each of those comes with its own expense and logistical issues. The Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study began earlier this year and has included test runs of the possible ferry route, passenger surveys, and meetings with the public and stakeholders. It has also identified the kind of infrastructure and parking improvements that would be needed before service begins. The study is due to be complete by the end of 2015. For a complete look at the information presented at these meetings, go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/ncdot/albums/72157658106977475 (NCDOT)
Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution
Members of the public attend an informational meeting Monday in Ocracoke on NCDOT's Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study
View on NCDOT.gov