December 6, 2013

DOT adds more ferries on
emergency and Swan Quarter routes

After consulting with passengers and officials from Dare and Hyde counties, The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division has established additional runs on its Stumpy Point-Rodanthe and Swan Quarter-Ocracoke routes to help increase access to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands during the closure of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge.
“We are always monitoring traffic flow and consulting with local stakeholders to determine how we can better serve our passengers,” said Ferry Division Deputy Director Jed Dixon. “These additional runs will hopefully alleviate some of the hardships the Bonner Bridge closure has created.”

Beginning yesterday, the Ferry Division added added departures from Stumpy Point at 11 p.m. and 3:30 a.m., and from Rodanthe at midnight and 1:30 a.m. The new schedule for the Emergency Route is now as follows:
Departing from Stumpy Point: 3:30 a.m., 5, 6:30, 8, 9:30, 11, 12:30 p.m., 2, 3:30, 5, 9:30, and 11.
Departing from Rodanthe: 1:30 a.m., 6, 7:30, 9, 10:30, noon, 1:30 p.m, 3, 4:30, 6, 7:30, and midnight.

Also, The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division announced today that it will be putting a fifth boat into service on the Emergency Ferry route between Stumpy Point and Rodanthe. The M/V Frisco will be put into service beginning Monday, Dec. 9. The Frisco will be making unscheduled “shuttle” trips between ferry terminals to alleviate traffic backups whenever they occur.
“We are constantly evaluating traffic patterns on the emergency route, and decided that another boat and crew is needed to help keep traffic moving during peak travel times,” said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas. “This will give us the flexibility to meet extra demand for ferry service when and where it occurs.”

The total daily capacity on scheduled Emergency Route runs is now 912 single cars.

In addition, fuel supply trucks will have designated runs on Tuesdays and Fridays from Stumpy Point at 5 a.m. and from Rodanthe at 10:30a.m. and 4:30 p.m. This will allow more deck space for regular vehicles on the other runs.
The Ferry Division is also amending its regular Pamlico Sound schedule, adding another round trip to its Swan Quarter-Ocracoke route beginning Tuesday, Dec. 10, with an additional departure from Ocracoke at 7 p.m. and from Swan Quarter at 10 p.m. The new schedule for our regular Pamlico Sound routes will be as follows:

Departing from Swan Quarter: 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4, and 10.
Departing from Ocracoke: 7 a.m., 10, 12:45 p.m, and 7.

Departing from Cedar Island: 7:30 a.m, 10, and 4 p.m.
Departing from Ocracoke: 7:30 a.m, 1 p.m., and 4.

In addition, residents of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, as well as emergency personnel and vendors, will have tolls waived on Pamlico Sound routes between Ocracoke-Cedar Island and Ocracoke-Swan Quarter.
Unfortunately, the boats and crews needed for the emergency route will also mean fewer boats and crews for the Hatteras-Ocracoke route. The new schedule on that route is as follows:

Departing Ocracoke: 5 a.m., 7, 9, 11, 1 p.m., 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
Departing Hatteras: 6 a.m., 8, 10, Noon, 2 p.m., 4, 6, 8, 10, and midnight.

In addition, the Ferry Division has now established two new designated fuel truck runs on its Hatteras to Ocracoke route. The designated fuel runs will be on Tuesdays and Fridays, with a departure from Hatteras at 8 a.m. and a departure from Ocracoke at 1 p.m. Creating designated fuel runs helps ensure a constant supply of fuel for Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, as well as allowing more room for passenger vehicles on other runs.

The emergency route was activated Tuesday after NCDOT closed the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge for safety reasons. The Ferry Division will continue to monitor traffic on the route to determine if any additional runs are needed.

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