Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 contract for the Ocracoke Express passenger ferry has been canceled.
COVID-19 concerns make vehicle ferries safer for social distancing, the state Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division said Tuesday in its announcement.
Ferry Division officials said they would decide whether to resume passenger ferry service in 2021 in the coming months.
The Ferry Division will continue operating vehicle ferries between Hatteras and Ocracoke this summer but officials encourage passengers to remain in their vehicles or stand at least 6 feet from other people while on board.
Introduced in 2019 as a transportation alternative for travel between Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, more than 28,600 people used the passenger ferry last summer.