NCDOT Ferry Division Lays Out Future Possibilities For Hatteras-Ocracoke Route Wednesday, September 02, 2015

(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)

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Members of the public attend an informational meeting Monday in Ocracoke on NCDOT's Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study

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