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Discussion Starter #1
All discussions involving possible Ferry service and routes (including what's on the books in Hillsborough) will be discussed here. One of my biggest mistakes when consolidating threads when forum activity slowed was that I bunched ferry discussions into the transit mega-thread.
 

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I'm not sure there'd be a benefit for an auto ferry for anything but a St Pete to Apollo Beach route. When you consider the time required for loading and unloading cars from the ferry, you'd probably be better off jumping the crosstown. Something to look at, but I'm not sure that idea would bear fruit.
 

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The earlier MPO studies looked at auto v passenger & concluded that passenger is the most viable. So has HMS. Given they are looking at Downtowns & MacDill not a lot of use or desire to add autos.

On another note, the politicians may not be aware, but this WILL happen. The FTA grant ensures it. If we give another chunk of $ back to the FTA it puts all future grants at risk.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
High-speed ferry service could link St. Petersburg and Tampa

Source: Bay News 9.

The city of St. Petersburg is getting on board with an idea to have a high-speed ferry in Tampa Bay.

Hillsborough County is considering bringing a ferry service to the area. It would primarily target people who work at MacDill Air Force Base and live in the southern part of Hillsborough County but there's also talk of adding a service that would link Tampa to St. Petersburg.
Full Story: http://www.baynews9.com/content/new...ticles/bn9/2014/8/21/ferry_tampa_st_pete.html
 

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Discussion Starter #14

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Looks like St. Pete to Tampa Ferry is a go. Pinellas needs to approve, which they should.

I like the idea of the ferry, but honestly who commutes from Downtown Tampa to Downtown St. Pete? I know we need a pilot project, but it seems like Clearwater Mall Area to Westshore and Gateway to Westshore would be a more logical choice. I don't know where any of those stops would be, but from a pure commute standpoint those are my two choices.
 

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This will have a maximum theoretical capacity on most days of just 1200, so I wouldn't get too worried about it having any sort of real impact. It's a minimally scaled pilot project. From what I've heard so far, quite a bit will be left out of this one, like a schedule that's even usable for most workday commuters. Local politicians always squeeze transit projects to death, while casually voting through $6 billion highway boondoggles.

(Interestingly enough, this ferry project and FDOT's PR campaign for TBX cost similar amounts.)
 

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This will have a maximum theoretical capacity on most days of just 1200, so I wouldn't get too worried about it having any sort of real impact. It's a minimally scaled pilot project. From what I've heard so far, quite a bit will be left out of this one, like a schedule that's even usable for most workday commuters. Local politicians always squeeze transit projects to death, while casually voting through $6 billion highway boondoggles.

(Interestingly enough, this ferry project and FDOT's PR campaign for TBX cost similar amounts.)
The pilot is only $1.4 million. How much do you think a good ferry system would be that connected what I mentioned above and Apollo Beach and Macdill? I guess the biggest issue is wetland and protected areas, but it seems like that could be sorted out.

Either way, I'm glad it is progressing some. I have used the Clearwater Ferry and though it is not glorious, it gets the job done. Hopefully ferries take off here.
 

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I see this as pure entertainment travel, it may in fact offer travelers who otherwise might not go from downtown to downtown and reason to.

So in this example, it would not decrease any traffic but offer instead a solution to those living in either area an interesting way to go between for special events.

Both of these downtowns are really coming together and those who choose to live in them could be very interested in frequenting the other.

Now if we can get the CSX route from Tampa to have passenger options into downtown Clearwater and St Pete, we could see some alternative options for those looking for leisure transit around the Bay area.

I will continue to assert that commuter transit will be near impossible for this sprawl but specific destination travel could be a huge success.
 

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The pilot is only $1.4 million. How much do you think a good ferry system would be that connected what I mentioned above and Apollo Beach and Macdill? I guess the biggest issue is wetland and protected areas, but it seems like that could be sorted out.
I don't think that would be a viable network, and would require pretty heavy subsidy. Between Clearwater and Tampa, they need to figure out how to get a couple of dedicated bus lanes run all the way out to the beach.

If Apollo Beach was actually built up at the terminal, the runs to MacDill and downtown St Pete seem the most attractive to me for regular ferry service. Expanded seasonal service to the two downtowns with ferries idled by the winter up north seems reasonable too. Especially once Vinik's stuff is open, and St Pete has its two new museums and other developments. But if Apollo Beach isn't built up considerably more to actually be walkable, there's not much point. I don't think a park and ride type operation would do well enough. At that point, you just do the seasonal tourist ferry, but at a more usable level above what the pilot will offer.

Separately, if it hasn't already been done, they should look at what the options might be for a ferry which carries people and cars between Apollo Beach and downtown St Pete. Would be interesting to see how that might work out.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So with the Cross Bay Ferry kicking off tomorrow (Friday), what does everyone think of the longevity of the service? Do you think it will last beyond the pilot period?
 
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