Cross-Bay Ferry expanding service on Lightning game days

The Cross Bay Ferry is set to re-launch November 1 with some big changes, project planners announced Thursday.

The ferry, which shuttles passengers between Tampa and St. Petersburg, will now dock in Tampa at the Convention Center. It will continue to dock at the Vinoy Yacht Basin in St. Pete.

"The ferry is doing a great thing in terms of taking people off congested bridges and inducing new travel," said Ed Turanchik, the attorney for HMS Ferries, which owns the Cross Bay Ferry vessels. "Passengers spent a lot of money in the other cities. Seventy-five percent of the passengers spent between $15 and $75 per person. So they're dropping a lot of cash, going to restaurants and bars and museums and shopping."

Turanchik said the ferry is also expanding its service during Tampa Bay Lightning home games and will operate 30 minutes after the final horn.

"We're very excited for our fans to have this service to every Lightning game," said Jarrod Dillon, Lightning chief marketing and revenue officer. "We feel this is extremely important for our fans to find more easy, affordable, fan-friendly ways to get to the arena."

The Cross Bay Ferry's weekly schedule will be similar to last season, running Wednesday through Sunday, with expanded weekend service.

Pricing is the same as last year: $8 for adults; $5 for seniors, military and college students; $3 for children between the ages of 5 and 18. Children under 4 years old are free.