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Permanent Service Plan Has Strong Community Support

Online survey shows 90%
support for Cross Bay Ferry Plan

Since December 1, 2022, 462 individuals responded to the future ferry service survey available at, the official website for information and progress updates on the plans for permanent ferry service across Tampa Bay.

Responses since the launch of the website add to the overwhelming number of supportive respondents – now close to 4500 people – and Tampa Bay area residents and visitors alike remain incredibly supportive of the plan to bring year-round, congestion-proof ferry service to South County, MacDill Air Force Base, and the current seasonal intercity service. Results since December 1st, include:

  • More than 95% of respondents support the plan, including more than 88% of respondents saying they “strongly support it.”
  • More than 67% of recent respondents indicated they support permanent ferry service because:
    • “[They] would personally use ferry service;” or
    • “[It] would help reduce congestion on our roadways.

Responses to the survey since December 1, 2022 have been particularly strong from southern and eastern Hillsborough County residents, with nearly 70% of the respondents coming from zip codes in these areas.  The survey respondents demonstrated that the support for ferry service to south Hillsborough County was far greater than just the MacDill Air Force Base commuter and congestion relief it would achieve.  Nearly eighty percent of south County respondents said they would use the planned intercity service to travel to Tampa and St. Petersburg, with two-thirds saying that they would use the evening and weekend ferry service to go to either St. Petersburg or Tampa once or twice a month.

The survey also asked for open-ended comments.  Nearly a quarter of respondents shared their opinions with us.  Here is a sample of what survey respondents said:

“We’ve been waiting for this for years.”

“Ferry service is not new, many big cities around the country have a water transportation service to help congestion… What a great day it would be for Tampa Bay – an innovative city full of growth potential to open their ferry service and let the world see Tampa as a big city with projects that transform the livelihood of its citizens!”

“Would love to see revitalization and ferry service for us in the south part of the county. We have a massive population, but limited access to water.”

“As you know South County population has exploded.  We now have all of the traffic issues that the rest of the bay has had.  As a family who bikes we would love a ferry option to be able to take our bikes across the and connect with regional trail systems.”

“I believe this would bring so much to Tampa and St. Pete and more tourists to the areas which brings more money.”

“I think this is a good thing. We are in dire need of public transportation.”

“This idea would help with commutes and congestion leaving south county.”

“Look at New York – Baltimore – San Francisco – San Diego – – they all are cities with lots of water and very viable ferry services.  Time to bring the Tampa Bay area into modern and sensible times.  Ferry service is very badly needed year-round.”

The ferry service would help avid sports fans like myself still enjoy our local teams that are far from south county. I would routinely travel to more games if there was a service like this close to home where I could get to Amalie Arena and Tropicana Field more efficiently.”

“Ferry service is not new, many big cities around the country have a water transportation service to help congestion around the region. Ex. Seattle.  What a great day it would be for Tampa Bay – an innovative city full of growth potential to open their ferry service and let the world see Tampa as a big city with projects that transform the livelihood of its citizens.”

“A boon for seniors!”

I commuted by bike before in both Paris and Washington DC and used boat ferries with a bike in Amsterdam, it was incredibly efficient. Tampa has much better weather [and] I would like to spend less time in traffic and more time biking to/from the ferry.”

“Any effort to get cars off the road is appreciated.”

“There are a lot of MAFB employees in South County.  I LOVE the idea of reducing congestion and providing a safe and convenient way for people to commute.”

“We recently moved to Apollo Beach, but previously lived in Downtown Tampa and absolutely loved the Ferry!  I would be very excited to see it come south and be able to have a connection to Downtown from here.”

“Excited to have easy access to restaurants and night life without driving almost 1 hour from south county.”

“This would be a game changer for the area!”

“I think it would be a productive resource to get around the Bay Area.  As a resident of Apollo Beach, realtor, boat owner and business manager I believe it will help people who are either considering either moving or visiting the Tampa Bay Area decide on this area.”

“This is a great idea, finally connecting Apollo Beach to Tampa or St. Pete.  Will help people avoid driving after a night out in St. Pete or Tampa.  Instead of sitting in a ton of traffic, you can just pop on the ferry and have a great time.”

“I would love to use the ferry to go to Tampa and St. Pete for events, weekend getaways.  I live in Riverview and I do not go to these places due to traffic and parking costs.  The ferry would be wonderful!”

“This should definitely be another means of travel.  I would get out more and explore Tampa Bay if it meant I didn’t have to drive to do so.”

“I live in the Big Bend area and have family in St. Pete besides I love dining and shopping there.  I would use ferry service regularly.”

“This would have been a much more feasible option for my husband to get to work than the bus.  He would probably have not left his job if this were an option at the time.  Permanent service between south County and MacDill will help so many active-duty military and veterans in their day to day life.”

“This service will help spur alternative commuting as well as drive growth and jobs to support this service.”

“I would use the ferry service if there were more frequent trips from south county to St. Pete.  I would go to more Rays games if the commute there wasn’t so bad from Valrico.”

“Badly needed with traffic gridlock, new developments in every direction.”

“Great service for residents and tourists.  Will reduce congestion on the roads, improve travel times and reduce auto exhaust pollution.”

“Happy to see civic leaders are trying to discourage auto use and encourage alternative transportation.”

“There are so many obvious reasons a well-run ferry system would benefit Tampa.  Safe and enjoyable travel option, assist in mitigation congestion on our increasingly busy roads and bridges, increase safety, increase quality of life by not having to site in traffic, potential to work on the ferry if Wi-Fi was an option.  I could go on and on.  Thank you for your work on this great idea.”

“I tend to visit Tampa from St. Pete more often when the ferry service is running.  I know for a fact that more people would come to the Rays games if the ferry actually ran during the MLB season.  I only go to Lightning games when the ferry is available. “

“This is a fabulous initiative!  Do not let politics delay or impede.”

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