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Vote Now for Ocracoke Express Passenger Ferry and Light Rail Service to Win State Prize

The Ocracoke Express trolley now drops off and picks up at the lighthouse. [Hyde County photo]

Now anyone can go online to start a vote for the State’s Best Multimodal Transportation Project.

People are encouraged to visit the NC Department of Transportation’s website to vote for the most voted project at this year’s NCDOT Mobi Awards. The deadline to vote in the Most Voted Project category is March 4 at midnight.

Among those in the most voted category is the Ocracoke Express passenger ferry and light rail service.

In 2013, due to shoals in the ferry channels, the NCDOT Ferry Division began using a longer route between Hatteras and the Ocracoke Islands, which increased crossing and waiting times, reduced daily crossings and increased operational costs.

A feasibility study in 2016 recommended a different type of vessel to help alleviate these issues.

In May 2019, the Division launched its first pedestrian ferry service, the Ocracoke Express. Since the 2019 season, the Division has had further successful seasons, with a total of almost 50,000 passengers.

A free circulator trolley connects passengers to major Ocracoke destinations and removes vehicles from the island.

Winners of the other competitions of the competition five categories will be determined by a jury.

“The Most Voted Project category is a great way for the public to provide input on what makes a great community transportation project,” said Julie White, NCDOT’s Assistant Secretary for Multimodal Transportation. “Multimodal investments can be catalysts for economic returns and improved quality of life. We look forward to announcing the winners this spring.

The Mobi awards recognize projects that provide communities with at least two modes of transport such as rail, aviation, bicycle, pedestrian, public transport, highways and ferries. Examples include greenways, streetscape projects, and bridges with walking paths.

For the Most Voted Project category, people can vote up to three times a day for their favorite project.

Once people have voted, the “thumbs up” button will change from “Vote” to “Voted”, and the score next to the entry will increase. The project with the most votes wins.

This year’s contest features more than 30 participants in communities from the mountains to the coast. Entries were accepted from January 10 to February 10. ten.

To vote or learn more about the Most Voted category, go to NCDOT webpage.

Winners in all six categories will be announced at a May 4 luncheon at the Raleigh Marriott City Center, 500 Fayetteville St., Raleigh.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read more local stories here.