After hearing from Hatteras Island commuters about the need for an additional early evening run on the Emergency Route between Stumpy Point and Rodanthe, the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division has agreed to add a 6:15 p.m. departure from Stumpy Point and an 8:45 departure from Rodanthe beginning Thursday.
The commuter concerns were raised at a community meeting Tuesday night in Buxton. “People told us they were having trouble making the 5 p.m. run out of Stumpy Point, and we decided they were right,” said Ferry Division Deputy Director Jed Dixon. “This additional run will allow those people to get to their homes and families on Hatteras at a reasonable hour.”
The run will especially accommodate those folks who live on the island and work up the beach or vice versa.
Beginning Thursday, Dec. 12, The new schedule for the Emergency Route will be as follows:
Departing from Stumpy Point: 3:30 a.m., 5, 6:30, 8, 9:30, 11, 12:30 p.m., 2, 3:30, 5, 6:15, 9:30, and 11.
Departing from Rodanthe: 1:30 a.m., 6, 7:30, 9, 10:30, noon, 1:30 p.m, 3, 4:30, 6, 7:30, 8:45, and midnight.
The additional round-trip also increases the Ferry Systems scheduled daily capacity to 968 single cars. There will still be unscheduled “shuttle” trips to alleviate traffic backups when they occur. The Ferry Division will continue to monitor traffic levels and adjust schedules when and where necessary.
The emergency route was activated Dec. 3 after NCDOT closed the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge for safety reasons. The Ferry Division will continue to monitor traffic on the route to determine if any additional runs are needed.
Other ferry routes have also been changed during the bridge closure.
The newest schedule is:
Departing from Swan Quarter: 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4, and 10.
Departing from Ocracoke: 7 a.m., 10, 12:45 p.m, and 7.
Departing from Cedar Island: 7:30 a.m, 10, and 4 p.m.
Departing from Ocracoke: 7:30 a.m, 1 p.m., and 4.
In addition, residents of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, as well as emergency personnel and vendors, will have tolls waived on Pamlico Sound routes between Ocracoke-Cedar Island and Ocracoke-Swan Quarter.
Unfortunately, the boats and crews needed for the emergency route will also mean fewer boats and crews for the Hatteras-Ocracoke route. The new schedule on that route is as follows:
Departing Ocracoke: 5 a.m., 7, 9, 11, 1 p.m., 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
Departing Hatteras: 6 a.m., 8, 10, Noon, 2 p.m., 4, 6, 8, 10, and midnight.
In addition, the Ferry Division has now established two new designated fuel truck runs on its Hatteras to Ocracoke route. The designated fuel runs will be on Tuesdays and Fridays, with a departure from Hatteras at 8 a.m. and a departure from Ocracoke at 1 p.m. Creating designated fuel runs helps ensure a constant supply of fuel for Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, as well as allowing more room for passenger vehicles on other runs.
The emergency route was activated Tuesday after NCDOT closed the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge for safety reasons. The Ferry Division will continue to monitor traffic on the route to determine if any additional runs are needed.