Cross-Bay Ferry now offering some free rides, daily service, alcohol, commuter discounts


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – If you’ve wanted to try the new Cross-Bay Ferry, next week might be the time to do it. The ferry service will be offering free rides for the four days leading up to Thanksgiving.

Free tickets for ferry rides will be available on a walk-up, first come first served basis for trips on Sunday, Nov. 20. Monday, Nov. 21, Tuesday Nov. 22 and Wednesday Nov. 23. The free rides are part of a promotion sponsored by Frontier Communications called, “Ride Free Day, Powered by Frontier.”

Frontier will continue to sponsor “Ride Free Day” every third Sunday of each month.

The Cross-Bay Ferry is a 6-month pilot project created in collaboration between the City of St. Petersburg, the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County and Pinellas County. The ferry takes walk-on passengers back and forth from downtown St. Pete to downtown Tampa.

The ferry has proved to be very popular and just finished its second weekend of sold-out trips. The ferry has increased its service and on Thanksgiving week will begin offering 7-day a week service.

The Cross-Bay Ferry is now offering many other new features for passengers.

A new commuter Value Pass option gives weekday commuters a 50 percent discount off ticket prices. Beginning Nov. 28, customers can log on to to become a Value Pass holder, and purchase a pack of 20 tickets for $100, or $5 per ticket, compared to the regular $10 one-way ticket price. To plan their commutes, customers then log on anytime and reserve a specific sailing for themselves for any voyage.  The Commuter Value Pass can only be used once per sailing, but anytime during the 6-month pilot project.

Also new for the Cross-Bay Ferry, the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) and the Florida Department of Transportation, District 7, have extended the “Emergency Ride Home” program to Value Pass passengers.

This program provides up to $100 in taxi fare, up to four times per year for individuals that take an alternative to driving alone, including transit, carpool, vanpool, and bicycle, to work twice or more per week. The service is available 24/7, and individuals must register online for the TBARTA myCOMMUTE program to qualify and obtain their first voucher.

And, many commuters will be happy to learn that beginning Nov. 20, the Cross-Bay Ferry will begin offering beer, wine and cocktail service.

Discounted parking for ferry passengers will be available in Tampa at the parking lot north of the Marriott Waterside on days when there is not an event at Amalie Arena. Ferry passengers will be able to park one block from the ferry terminal and receive a $5 discount on the day they use the ferry. Passengers can pick up a discount voucher when they board the ferry.

Passengers can purchase Cross-Bay Ferry tickets at the docks near the St. Petersburg Museum of History and the Convention Center in Tampa, or at the Cross-Bay Ferry website.

RELATED: Cross-Bay Ferry: Is it faster than driving? 8 On Your Side tested it out provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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