Cross-Bay Ferry doing well enough to begin reimbursing government partners

The Cross-Bay Ferry in port at the Seddon Channel near the Tampa Convention Center. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
The Cross-Bay Ferry in port at the Seddon Channel near the Tampa Convention Center. OCTAVIO JONES | Times
Published March 9 2017
Updated March 9 2017

The Cross-Bay Ferry is now attracting enough riders to send money back to the local governments that helped finance the 6-month pilot project, said Ed Turanchik, a project advisor.

In just the last 40 days, Turanchik said in an email, more than $50,000 in operating revenue has been returned to the City of St. Petersburg, the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County and Pinellas County.

That's because HMS Ferries is now covering its management costs, he said, which means money from ticket sales "reverses direction and start(s) going back to the four governments.''

The "switchover" moment happened in late January, and ticket sales are accelerating, Turanchik said. The ferry sold 2,000-plus tickets during the first week of March, with as many weekday tickets sold as weekend tickets.

At that pace, he said, "the ferry could have another monthly record.''

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