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How the Cross Bay Ferry has benefited Tampa Bay | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Friday’s letters to the editor.
Guests line up to board the Cross Bay Ferry docked at the Tampa Convention Center in November 2020. Local governments have been subsidizing the ferry since its pilot season in 2017. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Guests line up to board the Cross Bay Ferry docked at the Tampa Convention Center in November 2020. Local governments have been subsidizing the ferry since its pilot season in 2017. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ] [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published May 13

Support the ferry

Pinellas County will explore lower taxpayer subsidy for Cross Bay Ferry | May 10

In 2016, the Cross Bay Ferry began service between St. Petersburg and Tampa to mark a new era of public transportation. Six years later, however, after steady ridership has established the ferry as a mainstay transportation option, public funding the ferry relies on is at risk of being discontinued by the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners. A choice to jeopardize the ferry would be a step backward from relieving roadway congestion, boosting local commerce and providing affordable travel. Here’s how the ferry benefits Tampa Bay:

-- Steady growth: The ferry’s ridership has grown from 40,854 in 2017 to 62,130 this year.

-- Commerce driver: Surveys reveal that 90% of riders patronize restaurants, shops and events in destination cities.

-- Affordable transportation: Just $10 one-way, the ferry offers economical travel between St. Petersburg and Tampa.

-- Record-breaking season: The ferry just completed its most successful season.

-- Permanent service plans: Recently announced plans include the potential to accelerate the start of permanent service for the 2024-25 season.

As a new service, the ferry has relied on public funding to build a customer base. This investment has been pivotal to increase ridership, and it’s still needed. For the ferry to continue to become a mainstay and reduce congestion, create jobs and support businesses, we need your help. Join us in voicing support to continue the ferry’s funding.

Bob Rohrlack and Chris Steinocher

The writers are, respectively, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Chamber and president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

God help us

When did ‘woman’ become a dirty word? | Column, May 12

Upon reading this essay the week after we celebrated Mother’s Day (soon to be renamed “Birthing People’s Day”), I can only think we have completely lost our mind as a nation. Eliminating the Mr., Mrs. and Miss can’t be far behind. God help us (I don’t believe “us” is an offensive term — yet).

Joe Trepani, Clearwater

Hypocrisy unmasked

It’s not easy to predict U.S. politics in a post-Roe world | Column, May 12

It’s interesting that the people and political party who cried “big brother” and yelled “tyranny” when asked by the government to wear a piece of cloth on their face to protect their fellow citizens, are many of the same who think it absolutely acceptable for that same government to expand its power to tell a woman what she can and can’t do with her body, including in cases of rape and incest.

John Skey, Bradenton

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