The Port Aransas Ferry is always something different that people of all ages seem to enjoy. Whether it’s your first time to Port Aransas or your 100th time, the ferry is something you’ll never forget. You get to see the ships cross, the seagulls and pelicans, and if you’re lucky, a pod of dolphins! While waiting in the ferry line, why not learn some history of the Port Aransas Ferry wile you’re at it?
In 1911 there was a railroad called the Tonnerville Trolley that transported workers from Aransas Pass to construct the ferry landing. When the channel was built, so was the crude oil pipeline that goes from Aransas Pass to Port Aransas under the water.
The first ferry boat was names Mitzi. Mitzi was privately owned and could carry 6 vehicles across the water at a time. To get to the ferry, people had to buy a ticket, load up their vehicle on the train and use wooden boards inside the rails to move the train if it wasn’t on a scheduled run.
The toll road opened in 1931 between Port Aransas and Aransas Pass. The roadway was made of wooden planks. Now that there was a new roadway, it did away with having to load your vehicle on the train. They could simply drive on the wooden planks after paying, and drive to the ferry landing.
Ferry operations were privately owned unti 1951, when Nueces County took over operations. Eight years later in 1959, a paved roadway was constructed and replaced the wooden causeway. There was still a toll that was charged before you got on the new roadway. Toll was taken away when the Texas Department of Transportation took over ownership and operations in 1968.
These days, the Port Aransas Ferry runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you ride for free. There are six ferry boats that carry 20-28 vehicles each. You can check the ferry wait times online and even check the webcam’s that show you what traffic looks like.
If you are coming Port Aransas, take a ride on the Port Aransas Ferry before you come over to Casa on the Beach!