A long-route ferry enters Ocracoke’s Silver Lake harbor. Photo: C. Leinbach

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This story has been corrected, tram service will begin Saturday, Sept. 22. 

Ocracoke Island began welcoming back visitors today (Sept. 21) via Swan Quarter and Cedar Island, and the N.C. Ferry Division has waived the tolls for all ferry traffic accessing Ocracoke since the Hatteras ferry is not yet operational.

Ferry service to Hatteras is suspended due to the damage sustained from Hurricane Florence last week on N.C. 12 at the north end of the island from the pony pens to the ferry dock.

The Ferry Division has executed an emergency contract to start repairs on the road and the sand dunes protecting it.

The following ferry schedule will be operational until the Hatteras-Ocracoke route is back open, and the online reservation system is operational.

Swan Quarter to Ocracoke: 7 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Ocracoke to Swan Quarter – 7 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 3:45 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Cedar Island to Ocracoke – 7 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m.
Ocracoke to Cedar Island – 7:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Hyde County will also activate the tram service at 1 p.m. Saturday  (Sept. 22) on Ocracoke to help with walk-on traffic from the ferries. Trams will be free to anyone who wants to use them.

The Ocracoke trams. Photo courtesy of Hyde County

Those who want to visit Ocracoke but are unable to secure reservations on the Swan Quarter or Cedar Island ferries can park their vehicles at the ferry terminals and walk onto the boats.

The trams will operate daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., subject to change based on demand, and will cycle approximately every 30 minutes.

In addition to the tram service, there are bikes, golf carts and 4×4 vehicle rentals available from the private sector.

The trams are part of the new passenger ferry service that will be coming to Ocracoke in the future.

The county has coordinated with the NCDOT Highway Division, NCDOT Ferry Division and the operator to begin tram service temporarily as a service to visitors.

The Ocracoke trams will run continuously starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, and daily thereafter from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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