The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division will be switching to a modified spring schedule on its Hatteras-Ocracoke route Tuesday, April 15, adding four scheduled daily departures from both sides while adding unscheduled shuttle service to alleviate backups when they occur.
Dredging operations on the original ferry route continue in Hatteras Inlet, so the ferry will still be operating on the longer “alternate” route that takes approximately 55 minutes each way. However, the added trips are expected to greatly reduce congestion as visitors return to the Outer Banks for the 2014 season.
“Our harsh winter weather significantly slowed dredging operations on both the state and federal sides of the inlet,” said Ferry Director Ed Goodwin. “But these added trips, along with shuttles to help with backups during peak periods, will help us provide a significantly higher level of service until the short route reopens and we return to our summer schedule in May.”
The new schedule, effective Tuesday, April 15, is as follows:
Departing Hatteras: 5 a.m., 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, noon, 1 p.m., 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, and midnight.
Departing Ocracoke: 4:30 a.m., 6:30, 7:30, 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30 p.m., 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, and 12:30 a.m.
The new schedule can be viewed and downloaded at: http://www.ncdot.gov/download/transit/ferry/ferryschedule.pdf.
The Hatteras-Ocracoke route is the busiest of the North Carolina Ferry System’s seven regular routes, carrying about 750,000 passengers each year.