Proposed Tampa Bay ferry service could reduce traffic - WRBL

Proposed Tampa Bay ferry service could reduce traffic

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

A proposed high-speed ferry project could be coming to Tampa Bay. 

According to the website tampabayhighspeedferry.com: "The Tampa Bay High Speed Ferry project is a public-private partnership proposal by Akerman Senterfitt and HMS Ferries, Inc. (HMS) to start commuter, recreational and tourist passenger ferry service in Tampa Bay."

Bay area officials held discussions of the proposal in three spots on Wednesday: Channelside in Tampa, the St. Petersburg Museum of History, and Waterset (The Landing).

The initial commuter service would run frequently during rush hours from a terminal located between Gibsonton and Apollo Beach to MacDill Air Force Base.  The South County terminal would have a large park and ride lot.  MacDill commuters would be distributed around the base by a system of trams.

The proposed service would utilize fast catamaran passenger ferries.

The website promises the ferries would "provide faster, cheaper and higher-quality commuting connections for the 5300 military families who reside in south Hillsborough County", and cut down on traffic congestion.

tampabayhighspeedferry.com also goes into details about the cost of the project:  "The cost of the initial vessels and connecting trams at MacDill is under $7 million. Waterway, docks, parking, and ferry terminal costs are estimated to cost between $9 and $11 million, though a strictly temporary "pilot" option might be done for as low as $4 million. The specific option selected and approach would be up to local government. An additional vessel or vessels would be purchased only after the first year of operation, and then only assuming there was sufficient ridership demand. This cost would run between $4 million and $8 million depending on the specific vessel configuration needed to meet ridership demand."

There's no word yet on when the proposal might move forward.

YOUR VOICE: Would you ride a high speed ferry instead of driving around the area? Join the conversation in the comments section below.

 

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