Nearly 12,000 passengers used the seasonal transportation service in November.
TAMPA — The Cross-Bay Ferry, a seasonal transportation service that links downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg, saw a 25% year-over-year ridership increase in November.
According to a press release, the ferry carried 11,622 passengers, compared to 9,268 in November 2018. Weekend trips continue to be the most popular, with nearly three-quarters of the trips either sold out or close to capacity.
The ferry has also been a boon for local businesses, the release states. More than 60% percent of passengers surveyed reported spending more than $40 per person, and another 20% spent between $15 and $40 per person. Dining out was the most common activity in each city at 78%, while nearly a third visited museums, went to events or other attractions, and about 20% shopped.
Now in its third year of seasonal service, the Cross-Bay Ferry is funded by Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, the cities of Tampa and St. Pete and the Florida Department of Transportation. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has called for the service to become a permanent, year-round fixture, and according to the release, some 91% of surveyed passengers strongly support that plan, while 8% somewhat support it.