Saturday, April 17, 2010

Priority Passes

Someone asked me recently: "living on Ocracoke, what's the most important thing to own?" At least half seriously I responded, "A Priority Pass for the ferry!"

I understand there's a posting at the Post Office bulletin board that new Priority Passes will be available at the Community Center this Tuesday (A-K) and Wednesday (L-Z) for those who already have one.

Bring your old pass, car registration, driver's license proof of Ocracoke PO Box. I'm writing this from memory, so check the bulletin board for times and to make sure my details are correct.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is about "Ocracats" and was written by Pat Garber. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous9:58 AM

    If you travel back and forth more than twice a week a Priority Pass is what you seek

    Issued on an as-needed basis, hmm what constitutes as as-needed basis ? the PDF file from the NCDT only mentions rates for a commuter sticker at $150 for a vehicle 20ft in length How does one document this fact that one travels more than twice a week from the island? If One no longer does so, does one turn in the pass? why is it called priority ? Does it equate a privilege to bumping a passenger without a priority pass? if that person does not have a priority pass they have to wait for the next run if capacity of the ferry has been met?? WOW this is eye opening there is a pecking order. I feel so much better now oh are the passes non transferable- do they require the use of a picture ID??????? Hmm- How about a picture of the happy owners of new Priority passes in a posting next week

  2. Be sure to read tomorrow's blog. I'll address the priority passes, and explain how they work in more detail.

  3. The Priority Pass is not the same as the Commuter Sticker.

    The former is for residents of the island and is used on the Hatteras ferries. It is free of charge.

    The latter is used on the Swan Quarter and Cedar Island ferries, and anyone can buy one.

  4. Phillip,
    Do you know when they are going to issue the new re-entry passes??

  5. Anonymous5:44 AM

    What are the hours at the community center? Thanks

  6. Anonymous8:28 AM

    Wow that is nice. If you use the ferry frequently it is free of charge ---all residents of OI have free passage on the Hatteras ferry. Is that true-- do i understand this correctly?? Is there not a surcharge on your property taxes to defray this expense to the county/State of North Carolina. I only ask in this economy with so many services being cut due to lack of funds the burden of a cost should be democratically shared don't you think?

  7. The Hatteras ferry is free of charge for everyone - residents and tourists alike. The Priority Pass is merely a courtesy for island residents, so they can go to the head of the line when there are hundreds of tourists lined up to make the crossing.

    There is no additional surcharge on the islanders' tax bill. Everyone in the state pays for the state-wide ferry system. (And the last I heard, the ferry system was losing about 14 million a year. Of course that was just a rumor.)

  8. Here's the scoop from the notice at the post office:

    Priority passes will be distributed on Tuesday, April 20 for those whose last names begin with A-K, and on Wednesday, April 21 for those whose last names begin with L-Z.

    To qualify for a priority pass you must bring a valid driver's license and a vehicle registration card with an Ocracoke address. You must also provide proof of an Ocracoke Post Office Box (e.g. a utility bill). Up to four stickers may be issued for every PO Box.

    Stickers are distributed at the Ocracoke Community Center from 8 am to 5 pm. Officials request that you remove your old sticker.