Tampa-St. Pete high-speed ferry service launching this fall


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)— A traffic-free commute from downtown Tampa to St. Petersburg will soon be a reality for those in the Bay Area.

On Wednesday morning, major developments about high speed ferry service pilot project were released by officials.

The Cross-Bay Ferry will begin online ticket sales on October 15th on CrossBayFerry.com. In early November, the service will be launched to the public, with Friday/Saturday/Sunday service starting on November 4th.

The voyage between cities will take roughly 50 minutes and the vessel holds 149 people. Round-trip tickets cost $10 for adults, $8 for children and is free for those under the age of 3.

The ferry would drop people off at the waterfront near the Tampa Convention Center. The transportation service would go between that point and Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg.

During the week of Thanksgiving, the general public is invited to “Test the Waters” with free excursions. After Thanksgiving, weekday service will begin.

After the 6-month trial run which ends on April 30th, officials will evaluate the success of the service and look to make it a permanent fixture.

Back in August, a proposed ferry between Tampa and St. Pete cleared two hurdles when city leaders in both cities voted to approve funding for the ferry.

Those supporting the project think it will reduce stress both on the roadways and for commuters.

“It’s a pilot test project and I think commuters will give it a test. It’s a 6-month project, so we aren’t asking them to give up their cars, but we are asking them give it a test,” said Ben Lee of Schifino Lee Advertising and Branding.

“It’s fun. There is no better way to arrive into a new city than to get off of a dock rather than to get out of a car,” said Lee.

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