TAMPA, Fla. — The Cross-Bay Ferry, which transports people from St. Petersburg to Tampa, is seeing increased ridership this year. And according to St. Petersburg city officials, the number of people using the ferry is expected to increase.
The ferry began operating in November 2018. St. Pete Transportation Manager Cheryl Stacks says 30,000 people used the service in its first four months. That number is up by nearly 40 percent compared to the original 2016-17 pilot program. March and April were the busiest months two years ago. Stacks expects the same this season.
“I think we’re gonna see even greater numbers as we conclude the season,” said Stacks.
Stacks attributes the upswing to lower prices and schedule modifications.
“Evening and weekend service seem to be where it was popular in the pilot season," said Stacks. "That’s remaining true through the first season,”
Despite grant funding from the Florida Department of Transportation, Stacks says the future of the ferry returning for another season after this year is uncertain.
“There’s no guarantee at this point," said Stacks. "I think if we continue to see strong ridership, there’s a compelling case to keep this going strong.”
Stacks says the City of St. Petersburg needs to work with its governmental partners to sort it out. She expects a decision to be reached over the summer.
“Definitely, definitely optimistic,” Stack said.
The Cross-Bay Ferry will operate through April 30, 2019. Click here for the schedule and to purchase tickets.