St. Pete to Tampa Cross Bay Ferry could lead to a new route

South Shore to MacDill AFB route in the works
Posted at 6:01 PM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-18 18:52:55-05

"It was fun you know,” said Brian Burke.

Have you ever heard someone describe their work commute as fun?

"I used to work in Hawaii and I used a ferry as a primary means of transportation to my work every day,” said Burke.

The U.S. Navy Veteran’s drive to work now is 45 minutes each way from Ruskin to MacDill Air Force Base.

"It's pretty stressful,” he said. "It's three thousand or more just in annual cost for us, just to drive across on the Crosstown and fuel and maintenance on our vehicles."

Eight thousand MacDill commuters fight traffic from south shore to the base every day.

Now a ferry, which would make their commute faster, cheaper, is a real possibility according to local attorney Ed Turanchik.

Turanchik is the driving force between the Cross Bay Ferry now zipping from St. Pete to Tampa.

"The right of way is free and is congestion proof and you can't beat the sunsets and having a beer on the way home,” he said. "If you can move four to five thousand people off the roadways it would be like creating an entire new interstate dual-lane road from South County to Tampa.”

Though the project would need county and private support, Turanchik says a recent study shows more than 90-percent of MacDill employees support the idea.

This veteran knows exactly what he'd do with the extra time.

"Oh definitely, you know, sleep or spend a little bit more time with the kids before they go to school,” said Burke.