Here are new details on a ferry service that will soon take you from Downtown St. Pete to Downtown Tampa.
The Cross -Bay Ferry service starts in November. Initially, it will run only on the weekends and then expand to seven days a week. But remember, there's only one boat and one crew that can work 12 hours a day, so organizers have done their best to create a schedule that would accommodate the most people.
The vessel carries up to 150 people. There's indoor and outdoor seating and passengers can get food and drinks on board. The trip will take just under an hour.
Ed Turanchik a policy adviser for the ferry project, said, "I hope this breaks the dam for transit, because people here really don't understand what premium transit is all about. They don't understand what a no brainer using the bay is."
There are two roundtrips from St. Pete to Tampa Monday through Thursday. The 7 a.m. departure and 5:15 p.m. return is geared to commuters. "We're going to work very closely with the downtown partnerships to identify commuters and price it so it's attractive for them," said Turanchik.
The schedule changes up a bit on the weekends, with later departures on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It also has later return times for those who want to enjoy a night out on the town in either city.
Dave Scott, executive director of Citizens for High Speed Ferries, says, "We have two great cities divided by the same body of water so this is a direct connection and you don't have to fight traffic on the limited bridges."
And there will be plenty of options for getting around once you dock. In Tampa, passengers have the trolley, downtowner, streetcar and water taxi. In St. Pete, there's also a downtowner and two transit lines.
Turanchik is excited about the options. "You could stay in Ybor city and go to the beach or vice versa and never use a car."
A ticket cost $10 for one way but it will also give passengers discounts to dozens of businesses and restaurants on both sides of the bay. If riders are commuters, it will be significantly cheaper, but they have not yet determined exactly what that price will be.
For more information on the schedule and when tickets will be available. Click here.