Cross-Bay Ferry Paving The Way For MacDill Ferry

Apr 12, 2017

The Cross-Bay Ferry pilot project, which connects the downtowns of Tampa and St. Petersburg, will cease its run at the end of this month. But it has provided valuable information about the habits of would-be riders.

Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Ed Turanchik is a project advisor. And on behalf of his firm, Akerman, he's helping to put together a public-private partnership between Hillsborough County and the ferry service providers for a different ferry project.

"Success of the Cross-Bay Ferry has put the MacDill Ferry Project back on the front burner. So we have some good likelihood that we'll see permanent ferry service in about three years," Turanchik said.

The Hillsborough County Commission voted last week to move forward with it.  And a contract is coming soon.

The ferry service would connect an estimated 10,000 employees of MacDill who live in southern Hillsborough County to the Air Force Base on the southern tip of the Tampa peninsula.

Turanchik expects that once the ferry service is running, it could make a major impact on the commute for Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, and some of the more heavily-traveled thoroughfares in the south county.