Bay News 9 – PICTURES: Cross Bay Ferry had its maiden voyage Tuesday

Posted on Posted in Press

By Sara Belsole, Reporter Bay News 9

The Cross Bay Ferry took off on its maiden voyage Tuesday. It connects downtown St. Petersburg with downtown Tampa.

  • Cross Bay Ferry is officially open for business
  • Ferry connects downtown St. Petersburg and downtown Tampa
  • Pilot program will last six months, tickets cost $10

“We don’t get to Tampa enough so this is kind of a fun,” said rider Megan Dobiesz. “This is a good reason to get across the bridge, so we are excited.”

Part of the ferry’s allure is that riders don’t have to deal with the traffic, or the headaches, of driving across one of the Bay area bridges.

“We got four governments to work together, that’s something you don’t see very often,” St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said. “But all of us recognize transportation is a real challenge in our community and we have to do something about it.”

The ferry seats 149 and travels at about 30 miles per hour. It gets riders from dock to dock in under one hour.

“I think for the first time we are connecting these two downtowns,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said. “These two urban areas that are just exploding with people and restaurants and activities and that connection is going to be important.”

For the next six months, the ferry is just testing the waters to see if it’s something people will actually use. During the pilot program, it will run on weekends, but city leaders hope it could eventually be used during the work commute.

Tickets are $10 each way. Tickets must be purchased online.