Ridership on the Hatteras-Ocracoke route for August and September show marked decreases from last year during the same months.
Tim Hass, NC Ferry Division spokesman, today released the following ridership statistics for August and September:
Hatteras Inlet Vehicles:
August 2013 – 46,007
August 2014 – 40,905
September 2013 – 37,382
September 2014 – 31,276
Hatteras Inlet Passengers:
August 2013 – 134, 291
August 2014 – 119, 260
September 2013 – 90,948
September 2014 – 79,143
In August, the U.S. Coast Guard officially made the Barney Slough–the longer, natural route between the islands–an additional permanent waterway. This route takes about one hour while the historic shorter route–through the Rollinson Channel–took about 40 minutes. The short route received heavy shoaling after Hurricane Irene in 2011 and subsequent storms brought more sand into the inlet. The longer route was marked and began being used in February 2013.
This year, as the short route suffered more shoaling, the longer route became the operative route.
The monthly meeting on Ocracoke with NC DOT ferry officials will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20, in the United Methodist Church rec hall at the end of School Road.
While these meetings are regularly scheduled for the second Monday each month, this is a change only for the October meeting. The meeting is open to anyone, said Bill Rich, Hyde County manager.
Organized by Rich, the ferry officials have been coming to Ocracoke since early summer to hear concerns about the various ferry routes and operations to Ocracoke.
See the link below for a story in the Raleigh News&Observer about the proposed idea for passenger ferries from Hatteras to Ocracoke: