St. Petersburg/Tampa, Fla. (April 5, 2017) – The Cross-Bay Ferry carried nearly 8,000 passengers during March and generated significant growth in ridership for both weekday and weekend service between Tampa and St. Petersburg.
During March, the Cross-Bay Ferry sold a record 7,990 tickets, which was a 31-percent increase over February, which was also a record month. The 6-month pilot project has now carried 31,362 people as of March 31. Weekend ridership in March increased 17 percent over February, and weekday ridership increased 57 percent.
The final run of the ferry pilot project will be on Sunday, April 30. The project began last November as a real-life test of the feasibility and desire of the community for regular water transit. Recently, several area governments have expressed a desire to build new ferry routes in the region.
“We are now in the final month of this pilot project, and the ferry is finishing strong,” said project advisor Ed Turanchik. “We are especially proud to have such strong support from organizations such as Frontier, the Rays, HART, PSTA, the Tampa Bay Lightning and others that want to partner with new transit options.”
For April, the ferry has partnered with the Tampa Bay Rays to arrange a special, later ferry schedule for Tampa fans to take the ferry to nearly every Rays game this month, with free transit between the dock in St. Petersburg and the stadium provided by PSTA.
The ferry continues to generate cash reimbursements back to the four governments that initially funded the project, and final figures for March will be available later in the month.
A recent survey of ferry passengers found more than 90% are residents, not tourists. Ferry passengers are making a positive economic impact on local businesses, as 60% of passengers spent between $15 and $40 per person at their destination.