N.C. Ferry System Begins Transitions To Off Season Schedule

N.C. Ferry System Begins Transitions To Off Season Schedule

N.C. Ferry System Begins Transitions To Off Season Schedule

By / State News / Wednesday, 28 September 2016 04:00

RALEIGH, N.C. :  September 15th, 2016 - With the kids back in school, temperatures falling and days getting shorter, the annual transition to off-season schedules will begin for the North Carolina Ferry System. Over the next six weeks, several gradual schedule changes will occur on four of the ferry system’s seven routes:

• Pamlico Sound: Both the Cedar Island-Ocracoke and Swan Quarter-Ocracoke routes will begin their off-season schedules on Sept. 27. Both routes will run three round trips daily.

• Southport-Fort Fisher: The Southport route will switch to an off-season schedule Oct. 1, dropping from 16 weekday round trips to 14. Weekend schedules will not be affected.

• Hatteras-Ocracoke: The popular Hatteras Inlet route will switch to a fall schedule on Oct. 11, going from 36 round trips daily to 26. On Nov. 8, the route will go to a winter schedule, making 18 round trips daily.

The Cherry Branch and Pamlico River routes do not change seasonally, and the Currituck-Knotts Island route remains on the same schedule throughout the school year.

For a printable 2016 ferry schedule, go to https://www.ncdot.gov/download/transit/ferry/ferryschedule.pdf

About The NC Ferry System

With a seemingly endless landscape of rivers, inlets, and sounds, maritime transportation has been a part of life in Eastern North Carolina as long as people have lived here. The current North Carolina Ferry System traces its roots back to the mid-1920s, when Captain J.B. "Toby" Tillett began a tug and barge service across Oregon Inlet.

In 1934, the North Carolina Highway Commission began subsidizing Tillett's business in order to keep tolls affordable to the ever-increasing amount of residents and visitors in the area. Eight years later, the Highway Commission fully reimbursed Tillett in order to eliminate the tolls. This continued until Tillett's business was sold to the state in 1950.
The first "official" route of the North Carolina Ferry System was established in 1947, when a private ferry across Croatan Sound between Manns Harbor and Roanoke Island was purchased from T.A. Baum.

Today, the Ferry System runs 22 boats on seven regular routes across five bodies of water: Currituck and Pamlico Sounds, and the Cape Fear, Neuse, and Pamlico Rivers. The ferries transport about 850,000 vehicles and two million passengers a year, making it the second largest state-run ferry system in the United States. They not only carry visitors, but residents, commuters, and school children as well. Two routes (Hatteras-Ocracoke and Ocracoke-Cedar Island) are officially part of The Outer Banks Scenic Byway.

In addition, the North Carolina Ferry System runs an emergency route between Stumpy Point and Rodanthe that provides a crucial transportation link between Hatteras Island and the mainland when NC Highway 12 is damaged due to storms and other issues. The emergency route was used in 2011 after Hurricane Irene, in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy, and in 2013 while emergency repairs were made to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge.

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