Sundae Horn
NCDOT ferry division personnel toured ferries last October that may work in Pamlico Sound waters.
NCDOT ferry division personnel toured ferries last October that may work in Pamlico Sound waters.

NCDOT says it’s possible, if Ocracoke residents want to give it a try.

On Monday, January 12th, all are invited to join NCDOT ferry division staff at 1pm at the Ocracoke Community Center for a presentation about passenger ferries.

Hyde County manager Bill Rich says that the ferry division is “very excited about passenger ferries. It’s full steam ahead.”

The state is considering leasing passenger ferries for the 2015 season. They would like to see if the idea will take hold, and ease the congestion on the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry.

 “They’re trying to accelerate things to have a program in effect for this summer,” Bill said. “Hyde County will also do everything we can to lease trolleys for this summer.” (Trolleys will move car-less people around the island while they’re here.)

Bill also reiterated that the ferry division wants to hear from the Ocracoke community before going ahead with this experiment.

“Both [NC Secretary of Transportation] Tony Tata and [Ferry Division Director] Ed Goodwin have said they won’t do this without community support. I told them they’d have community support,” Bill said.

Bill is hoping that lots of people show up at Monday’s meeting and express their enthusiasm for this trial run with leased passenger ferries. He named several business owners that have told him they are in favor of passenger ferries.

Please come to the meeting if you have questions or comments!

At last Monday’s commissioners' meeting, the Hyde County commissioners passed a resolution in favor of NCDOT bringing passenger ferries to Ocracoke. (The original wording of the resolution was “to Silver Lake.” It was changed to "to Ocracoke" because commissioner John Fletcher says there's a split in opinion about whether passenger ferries should dock up at the north end of Ocracoke where the Hatteras ferries land instead of in Silver Lake. For confusion’s sake, that dock at the noth end of Ocracoke is called “south dock.”)

For background on the issue of Hatteras Inlet (dredging, long route, short route) and passenger ferries, check out this Current article from October.