June 14, 2018

UPDATE:  Alcohol on Passenger Ferry Also
Dropped from Transportation Bill

The Senate cut a measure that would have allowed beer and wine sales on the new passenger ferry from House Bill 1029, which is a broader bill that addresses transportation laws in the state of North Carolina. The measure was originally included in two House Bills, H1029 and H500, which addressed statewide alcohol regulations, but was dropped from both pieces of legislation before being passed to the Senate.

June 13, 2018

Measure to Allow Alcohol on New Passenger
Ferry Dropped from House Bill

A measure that would have allowed passengers to purchase beer and wine on the upcoming Hatteras / Ocracoke passenger ferry has been dropped from a larger North Carolina bill that addresses alcohol regulations in North Carolina.

The measure, which was removed from the broader alcohol-related House Bill 500 on Tuesday night, had stated that “Malt beverages, unfortified wine, and fortified wine may be sold and delivered by any wholesaler or retailer licensed in this State to an officer or agent of the Department of Transportation for sale on passenger-only ferries.”

However, an almost identical measure is still alive in another bill, House Bill 1029, which focuses on changes to transportation laws in the state of North Carolina, and which passed a second reading in the House on June 12. (The complete details of that bill can be viewed via https://www2.ncleg.net/BillLookUp/2017/H1029.)

The Hatteras / Ocracoke passenger ferry will be the first of its kind for the NCDOT Ferry System, as it will be the only state-operated passenger ferry in North Carolina.

The new ferry, named the Ocracoke Express, will have seating for 98 people inside as well as 26 people outside on the exterior decks. The ferry will also have bike racks, as well as the first snack bar in the state’s ferry system.

Originally slated to begin service this summer, construction of the catamaran-style vessel was delayed, and completion of the ferry will likely occur in September, with regular runs beginning in the spring of 2019. 

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