TAMPA — The Cross-Bay Ferry is changing its Tampa docking location in anticipation of the Super Bowl, which is expected to bring heavy traffic to the convention center and surrounding areas.
For the next month, people can catch a ride on the ferry from Sparkman Wharf, 615 Channelside Drive at the end of the Garrison Street cul-de-sac.
Parking can be found in the Garrison Lot, at 651 Channelside Drive, or the Channelside Parking Garage, 369 S 12th St.
The seasonal ferry links that the downtowns of Tampa and St. Petersburg has changed docks a few times since it launched in 2017. It will stay at Sparkman Wharf through Feb. 17 before returning to the Tampa Convention Center.
Those looking to buy tickets in person should do so at the Sparkman Wharf location. Reservations can also be made online at www.thecrossbayferry.com.
The ferry runs Wednesdays through Sundays. It makes two round trips Wednesdays and Thursdays and four round trips the other days.
Tickets cost $10 each way, with discounted rates for seniors, military, students and kids.
The ferry has become more popular each year as more people learn about it and details are refined.
During the boat’s pilot season, it provided about 39,000 passenger trips. Since then, the numbers have continued to rise as organizers tweak the schedule, lower prices and adjust docking locations.
The six-month ferry season costs taxpayers about $750,000. The transit service is paid for with money from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, the cities of St. Petersburg and Tampa, and the state Department of Transportation.
Supporters say permanent service would be much less expensive than the current seasonal set-up if officials were willing to expand and loop in two different docks as part of a plan to bring ferries to MacDill Air Force Base. But that plan has faced several challenges, including questions of what government entity should oversee the effort.