Cross Bay Ferry releases ridership numbers for first month of service

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)– Over the past month, thousands of people used the new Cross Bay Ferry to travel across the bay- but not everyone paid for their ride.

On Thursday, the ferry released numbers for the first month of operation and they report more than 2,700 hundred people took free trips offered by the service. Another 4,700 bought full-price, one-way tickets, which means a little more than 1 out of 3 ferry riders rode for free.

Visiting the Tampa Riverwalk, Robin Sage isn’t sure the six-month trial run for the ferry service is long enough for folks to kick their car habit.

“I’m not sure 6 months is a long enough trial time for people to make that change, because that’s a pretty big change for somebody who is used to driving their car to work every day and having their car accessible to them,” said Sage.

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

A one-way ferry ticket costs $10, but there is a commuter pass that cuts that price in half.

Sage hasn’t tried the Cross Bay Ferry yet, but has seen the concept work for commuters in other states.

“I have friends in Seattle who do that very thing, back and forth to some of the islands, and they enjoy that time down,” said Sage.

The Cross Bay Ferry still has 5 months left in its trial run to see if this service with become a permanent fixture.

The 98-foot vessel can carry 149 passengers.

If you want to test out the ferry for free, you still have a chance to. Frontier will continue to sponsor “Ride Free Day” every third Sunday of each month in the trial run. 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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