New Ferry Could Change Tampa Transportation
Welcome To The Cross-Bay Ferry!
If you live in Tampa Bay, you’ve heard the term malfunction junction. This refers to the merging point between I-275 and I-4. Here, there are massive traffic build-ups that occur when cars traveling on I-4, I-275, and the Veterans Expressway all bottleneck together in the downtown district. The stop-and-go traffic, incessant off-and on-ramps, and seemingly constant construction combine to create daily auto accidents. However, with the addition of Tampa Bay’s new ferry from Tampa to St. Pete, the number of car collisions has the potential to drop drastically.
The “Cross-Bay Ferry” successfully completed its first trip across the bay on November 1st. It will open to the public on Friday, November 4. The ferry will make trips between the Vinoy Basin in St. Petersburg and downtown Tampa on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Availability on weekdays is more limited. The ferry features wifi, work-tables and chairs, and has room to store bikes and other forms of light transportation. There are also plans to sell wine, beer, and snacks. At just $10 a trip, the 50-minute ferry ride presents an affordable option for those who want to travel between the two cities.
An Ideal Solution?
While the ferry isn’t necessarily the perfect solution for Tampa Bay’s ongoing transportation challenges, it is certainly a step in the right direction. According to recent studies, Florida hosts 2 of the deadliest interstates in the nation. 1-4 isthe most dangerous highway in America. The accidents aren’t just limited to Hillsborough county. U.S.-19 is Pinellas County’s most crash-prone road. The ferry presents the first form of alternative transportation, and could lead to a drastic reduction in accidents. Eventually, greater strides, like a light rail or expansive bus system, might be necessary. But for now, the ferry offers a glimmer of hope.
In order to secure the future of the ferry, though, city officials need to see that it is being used. If the initial numbers show that the ferry is cost-effective, it will be here to stay. Otherwise, it could be shut down as early as next year. Try it out!
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.