Ocracoke Express Ferry Has Large Passenger Increase This Season Compared to 2020
A passenger ferry, which runs between Hatteras Island and Ocracoke village, had a large increase in traffic this season compared to 2020. PRE’s Meredith Radford has more.
From June 21 through Labor Day, more than 16,500 passengers rode the Ocracoke Express ferry. That's an average of 213 people per day, more than doubling the 97 passengers a day in 2020. Communications Director for the State Department of Transportation's Ferry Division Tim Haas says ridership was down during the 2020 season during the first big wave of COVID-19. This summer, case numbers were down, and people were ready to vacation.
"People were more willing to get onto a boat and share space with other people, and I think that helped. And I also think tourism numbers were up, and people just were ready to go to Ocracoke and enjoy the island."
Hass says NCDOT may add other passenger ferries to their system in the future and is conducting a preliminary study on current ferry systems to determine that. For Public Radio East, I’m Meredith Radford.