MISSION AND PURPOSE
The Cross-Bay Ferry pilot project is a regional effort designed to demonstrate water transportation technology and service options to the residents and businesses of the Tampa Bay region. The Cross-Bay Ferry is a collaboration between St. Petersburg, Tampa, Hillsborough and Pinellas County. The pilot project will operate for six months between the Vinoy Basin in downtown St. Petersburg and the Tampa Convention Center in downtown Tampa.
The Cross-Bay Ferry pilot project has a number of explicit purposes.
The first is to demonstrate passenger ferry technology by operating a new, 149 seat passenger catamaran in a variety of operating scenarios and markets. As part of this, we have designed a demonstration initiative, called “Test the Waters,” which provides civic and business groups as well as individual citizens the opportunity to tour the vessel and take a short ride at no cost.
Weekend revenue service will connect residents and tourists to their favorite destinations in St. Petersburg and Tampa by providing two roundtrips on Fridays and Sundays, and three roundtrips on Saturdays.
Weekday service will connect St. Petersburg commuters to downtown Tampa and day trippers from Tampa to St. Petersburg.
Customer surveys will be taken continuously throughout the project in order to quantify consumer interest in water transportation as well as to gain better insight in how future service might be designed and operated.
With only one vessel and one crew for six months, the Cross-Bay Ferry pilot project can only do so much. We believe we have fashioned a program that will give a wide range of opportunities for residents and tourists to use this exciting, congestion-proof option. This program will also allow us to better assess marketplace interest in water transit, and how to more fully develop it in the event that the community supports its full-scale development.