TAMPA AND ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 29, 2023 – The Cross-Bay Ferry today announced that, for the second year in a row, it has broken its single-season ridership record, surpassing 62,130 riders, one month ahead of the 2022-2023 season’s final day of service. The event was celebrated with a surprise ceremony that honored the record-breaking rider on the 11:30 a.m. trip today from Tampa to St. Petersburg, marking another milestone in the ferry’s evolution in becoming a permanent transportation option that provides a reliable, affordable, and enjoyable way to travel across the Tampa Bay area.
The record-breaking rider, Abram Fisher, was informed about his selection and given a surprise celebration as he boarded the ferry for the 11:30 a.m. trip from Tampa to St. Petersburg, at the ferry’s dock at the Tampa Convention Center. Fisher was presented with a pack of free roundtrip ferry tickets for the 2023-2024 season and gifts from local businesses participating in the ferry’s community partner program.
“The ferry has done it again, and we thank Abram for helping us mark this moment,” said Matt Miller, president, HMS Ferries, the operator of the Cross-Bay Ferry. “After weathering the pandemic, residents and visitors alike have flocked to the Cross-Bay Ferry, allowing us to once again surpass pre-pandemic form and set another single-season record despite a weather-related delay at the season’s start.”
With its new single-season record of 62,131-plus riders, the ferry has, as of April 29, a 2022-2023 ridership that has exceeded its record-breaking 2021-2022 season, with a month left before its season closes, on May 28. This will far exceed the previous record of 52,528 riders set during the pre-pandemic 2018-2019 season. On top of this single-season ridership record, earlier this month the ferry reached another milestone when, during the week of April 3, it transported its 300,000th rider since it began service, in 2016.
“Tampa Bay residents and visitors alike continue to embrace the region’s historic waterways and ferry transportation as a convenient and congestion-proof transit option to get to restaurants, museums, events, and shopping destinations, driving economic growth for our local businesses and destinations as they travel,” said Miller. “We’re excited to build upon our outstanding growth as the season closes and as we continue to work with our community and government partners to ensure another banner season for 2023 and 2024 and beyond.”
The final day of service for this ferry season will be May 28. Information on the ferry’s remaining schedule and ticket purchasing is available at www.thecrossbayferry.com as well as at ticket booths at the ferry’s docks, near the Tampa Convention Center and the St. Petersburg Vinoy Basin.
About the Cross-Bay Ferry
The Cross-Bay Ferry is a regional collaboration between Hillsborough County, city of Tampa, city of St. Petersburg, and Florida Department of Transportation. This season’s service began on Oct. 19 and will continue until May 28. The ferry normally offers four trips daily between Tampa and St. Petersburg on Wednesdays and Thursdays, eight trips daily on Fridays and Saturdays, and six trips daily on Sundays. In Tampa, the ferry departs from the dock at the Tampa Convention Center, and in St. Petersburg from the dock at North Straub Park, near the Vinoy Basin. More information on the Cross-Bay Ferry, including the latest schedule and ticket-buying options, can be found at www.thecrossbayferry.com.
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Schifino Lee Public Relations