Longer days and warmer weather mean visitors will soon begin their annual summer treks to the North Carolina coast. Once there, they’ll be greeted with extra ferries to get them to their destinations, as the N.C. Ferry System transitions to its summer schedules beginning May 16.
The popular Hatteras-Ocracoke route will begin running 36 round-trip departures each day between the two islands, up from 28 round-trips in the spring. On busier days, there will also be unscheduled ‘shuttle’ runs to help ease any backups that occur. Motorists are still encouraged to be ‘early birds’ by arriving at Hatteras before the late morning traffic peak, especially on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
“Like any other mode of transportation, the ferry system has peak travel periods in the summer when the wait will be longer,” said Ferry Division Interim Director Jed Dixon. “By avoiding those peak times, travelers can get to their destinations much faster.”
On May 23, the Ferry System will bolster the schedule on its two Pamlico Sound routes. The Swan Quarter-Ocracoke route will go from three daily round trips to four, and the Cedar Island-Ocracoke route will go from three daily round trips to five. Motorists headed to Cedar Island this summer are advised to leave early, as road construction on U.S. 70 and N.C. 12 may cause delays of up to 30 minutes on the way to the ferry terminal.
A printable schedule for all seven of the Ferry System’s routes is available online at www.ncdot.gov/download/transit/ferry/ferryschedule.pdf.