May 14, 2015
North Carolina Department of Transportation's Ferry System switched to
its full summer schedule of 36 daily round-trip departures between
Hatteras and Ocracoke this week, calling on summer day trippers to
strongly consider going as early in the day as possible to avoid wait
times in the peak season.
DOT offers hints to avoid long
waits at Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry
"We've always suggested visitors try
to avoid the peak times of the day when traveling between Hatteras and
Ocracoke," said Ferry Division Communications Officer Tim Hass. "This
year, we're coming right out and saying it: The best way to get out of
ferry lines is to travel early, travel late, or travel between Friday
and Monday. We have years of data to back that up."
shows that in general, there are no waits at Hatteras before 9 a.m.,
with lines starting to form around 10. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. is the peak
travel time, with lines generally dissipating by 4 p.m.
Ocracoke side, there is usually no waiting before 2 p.m. Cars begin to
stack up by 3 p.m. and lines are the longest between 6-7. By 9 p.m.,
those lines are usually gone.
"People still want to go to
Ocracoke, and they should go to Ocracoke," said Ferry Division Director
Ed Goodwin. "By adjusting their schedule just a little, they can spend
less time in a ferry line and more time on Ocracoke. And that's what
vacation should be about."
The Ferry System has created a web page at www.ncferry.org/earlybird with
more information and will be encouraging off-peak travel all summer via
advertising and social media. The summer schedule is also
available on the website.