Tampa City Council approves $350,000 for cross-bay ferry
Without discussion, the Tampa City Council voted 6 to 1 Thursday morning to approve committing $350,000 to a pilot project that will provide six months of cross-bay ferry service starting as soon as November.
Tampa is the second of four local governments to approve the proposal to pay $1.4 million to HMS Ferries of Seattle to conduct the tryout, which will connect the downtown waterfronts of St. Petersburg and Tampa. The Hillsborough County Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday to provide its share of the money. Elected officials in Pinellas County and St. Petersburg have yet to vote.
Charlie Miranda, arguably the City Council's most frugal member, cast the dissenting vote, but did not offer his reason from the dais.
As proposed, Seattle-based HMS Ferries would get the first $125,000 of the ferry's revenues. Anything the service made above that would be split among the four local governments underwriting the program.
The ferry would be expected to begin running Nov. 1, with two runs a day, three on Friday, for fares that are expected to be $10 for a one-way trip.