ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - In just a few days, there will be a new way for you to commute to and from Tampa and St. Petersburg. The Cross-Bay Ferry service, launched as a trial in 2016, is making a return.
The ferry can now be seen docked ready to go at its new location on Bayshore Drive across from the Vinoy Hotel. November 1, it will start making runs from its location in St. Pete to Downtown Tampa near where the water taxis are docked.
The city of St. Pete says this season there will be more service in the evening hours and on weekends.
Mayor Rick Kriseman says, during the trial run in 2016, the ferry's cost paid off, bringing more than $1 million from riders to businesses on both sides of the bay. It went away in 2017 because Kriseman says he feared it would be politicized in the St. Pete mayoral election.
“Everything we can do to take people off the roads, give people an alternative, especially one that allows them to enjoy the beauty of our two communities, I think it's something we [should] be working on,” Kriseman said.
The ferry will run November through April. Depending on the rider’s age, it will cost around $8 or less.
St. Pete moved its docking location to Bayshore Drive because of construction on the city's new pier.
Tampa, meanwhile, moved the dock from the Convention Center to the Florida Aquarium. City officials there say the change should allow the ferry to continue operating during busy waterfront events.
LINK: More info & schedules at thecrossbayferry.com