December 3, 2015

DOT extends peak season schedule on Pamlico Sound routes

Summer travel season is getting a little bit longer on the North Carolina Department of Transportation's Ferry System.

The North Carolina Ferry Division released its 2016 schedules this week, and while most 2015 departure times remain intact, the Ferry Division made a few adjustments to the timing of seasonal summer schedules after analyzing ridership data from previous years.

 Among the changes:

  • Summer schedules were lengthened by four weeks on the two Pamlico Sound routes, Swan Quarter-Ocracoke and Cedar Island-Ocracoke, both of which will now start the first week of May and end during the last week of September. 
  • The summer schedule was adjusted forward on the Hatteras-Ocracoke route, starting later in the spring -- not until May 24 -- but ending later in the fall -- on Oct. 10.

“We are always taking a look at ridership patterns and adjusting our schedules accordingly,” said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “We’ve noticed more ridership on our Pamlico Sound routes in the spring, with passenger totals on the Hatteras route now staying strong into October. We’ve made a few changes in the schedule in an effort to meet that demand while remaining responsible with taxpayer dollars.”

The only other 2016 schedule change is an added off-season weekend run on the Southport-Fort Fisher route. No changes were made to the Currituck-Knotts Island, Bayview-Aurora, or Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach routes.

The complete 2016 schedule can be found online at

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