The N.C. Department of Transportation conducted a passenger ferry feasibility study to determine whether passenger-only ferry service would ease congestion on the N.C. Ferry System's popular Hatteras-Ocracoke route.
Ongoing shoaling in Hatteras Inlet has forced the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry to take a longer route on its runs between islands, resulting in fewer trips per day and heavy congestion during the summer.
Ferry ridership has also declined as a result, and visitor spending on Ocracoke Island – a vital part of the local economy, has decreased sharply.
The study, which began in April 2015, was conducted by infrastructure engineering company Volkert, which looked at all aspects of the issue, including passenger interest, stakeholder concerns, infrastructure improvements and transit needs.