all started with a single route linking Manns Harbor and Roanoke Island
in 1947. Now, the North Carolina Ferry System will be filling the
summer months with tours, contests and events celebrating 70 years of
providing safe, affordable and reliable transportation across eastern
service didn't start with us, but I do think we've modernized and
improved it," said Ferry Division Interim Director Jed Dixon.
North Carolina Highway Commission (predecessor of the Department of
Transportation) began subsidizing privately-run ferry routes in 1934 in
order to keep tolls affordable for both locals and visitors. In 1947,
the commission purchased T.A. Baum's five-mile route across Croatan
Sound from the mainland to Manteo. Three years later, the commission
purchased Toby Tillett's ferry service across Oregon Inlet onto
North Carolina has the second-largest state-owned ferry system in the
nation, with seven regular routes over five different bodies of water.
State ferries carried more than 800,000 vehicles and nearly 1.9 million
passengers last year. They also helped evacuate Ocracoke Island before
Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew arrived.
summer 2018, the Ferry Division will add new direct passenger ferry
service between Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Village in order to
alleviate seasonal backups that occur on the popular Outer Banks route.
Among the items marking the Ferry System's 70th Anniversary:
State Shipyard Tours: The
Ferry Division will conduct free public tours of the Manns Harbor
Shipyard at 10 a.m. on June 29, July 27, Aug. 24, and Sept. 28. Space
is limited and those wishing to participate will need to make
reservations in advance by emailing Tim Hass at [email protected].
Ferry passengers are invited to submit photos for use on the Ferry
System's social media pages by tagging Instagram or Twitter photos with
the hashtag #FerryFotoFriday, or by posting them in a comment on the
Ferry System's Facebook page. Each week, a photo will be selected by
department staff to be used for a Facebook and Twitter #FerryFotoFriday
The Ferry System will also
post historic ferry photos on social media every
The 70th Anniversary
celebration will run through September. You can follow the Ferry System on Facebook and Twitter.