Cross Bay Ferry to resume, with year-round service from St. Pete to Tampa

Fans of the Cross Bay Ferry between Tampa and St. Petersburg could see the service year-round over the next few years.  

Since 2018, the ferry has operated from November to April, but if a new deal with ferry operator HMS is approved, it would run through May starting in 2023, then through June in 2024, and then year-round after that. 

The cities of St. Pete and Tampa, as well as Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, would all fund the year-round service and would split the $1 million tab. 

St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman, who spearheaded the service, says leading up to the pandemic the service saw ridership at levels they never had expected. 

"Every season we would see growth in ridership and that’s exactly what happened, and prior to the pandemic we were heading into uncharted territory in record numbers," he said.  

With Kriseman terming out of office in January, Hillsborough County commissioners are picking up the lead and they’re expected to approve the new contract Wednesday.  

The Cross Bay Ferry is currently in Rhode Island for the summer months. It's expected to return to Tampa Bay around November.