MANNS HARBOR – The kids are back in school and temperatures are starting to fall. Now, the North Carolina Ferry Division is set to conclude its 2013 summer season by transitioning to its regular off-season schedules on four of its popular routes beginning next week.
The following changes are effective Oct. 1:
The Cedar Island-Ocracoke route goes from six daily departures to four, with runs from Cedar Island at 7 a.m., 10, 1 p.m. and 4 and return trips from Ocracoke at 7:30a.m, 10, 1p.m., and 4.
The Swan Quarter-Ocracoke route is reduced from four departures to two, with runs from Ocracoke at 7 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and return trips from Swan Quarter at 10 a.m and 4 p.m.
The Southport-Fort Fisher route eliminates two of its 16 daily trips, with departures from Southport at 5:30 a.m, 7, 7:45, 8:30, 9:15, 10;45, 11:30, 1 p.m, 1:45, 2:30, 3:15, 4, 4:45, and 6:15 and departures from Fort Fisher at 6:15 a.m., 7:45, 8:30, 9:15, 10, 11:30, 12:15 p.m., 1:45, 2:30, 3:15, 4, 4:45, 5:30, and 7.
On Oct. 8, the ferry run between Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands switches to its regular off-season hourly departures from both terminals between 5 a.m. and midnight, with additional departures added if needed.
The commuter routes across the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers are unaffected by seasonal changes, and the Currituck-Knotts Island route, which accommodates school students, switched to an increased school year schedule in August.
“We’ve had a very successful season this summer, and we’re looking for even bigger and better things during the 2014 season,” said Ferry Division Deputy Director Jed Dixon. “The off-season gives us an opportunity to bring boats into the shipyard for upkeep and routine maintenance, and ensures that the entire fleet is in tip-top shape come spring.”
The North Carolina Ferry Division operates 22 boats on seven routes, transporting two million passengers a year to and from work, school, appointments, and vacations.
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