Hillsborough Commissioners Consider Second Season for Cross-Bay Ferry

The first six-month pilot program of the Cross-Bay Ferry is about to wrap up for the season.

But Hillsborough Commissioners say they'll consider contributing to a second round of the seasonal ferry service between downtown Tampa and downtown St. Petersburg.

St. Pete mayor Rick Kriseman approached the commission Wednesday morning, telling them there's been more than 36,000 riders on the ferry.  He believes its success will be a precursor to a permanent ferry commuter service between south Hillsborough County, MacDill Air Force Base and Pinellas County.

Last year, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, as well as the cities of Tampa and St. Pete, each contributed $350,000 for the pilot Cross-Bay ferry.  

Hillsborough commissioner Stacy White says he's in favor of supporting the ferry, but wonders if most of the riders actually live in or are visiting the cities it serves.  If so, he says those cities should contribute more than the counties.

Commissioners have directed staff to set aside funding for the ferry service in next year's budget.

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