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Cross Bay Ferry Between Tampa And St. Petersburg Gets A Four-Year Extension

The Cross-Bay Ferry
Alysia Cruz
WUSF Public Media
The services takes riders back and forth from Tampa to St. Petersburg.

Both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties vote on a contract to extend the service — but not without some opposition.

Both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties voted to move forward with a four-year extension in funding for the Cross Bay Ferry.

The decision to continue the service that shuttles passengers between Tampa's Channelside District and St. Petersburg's Downtown waterfront was not an easy one for the Pinellas County Commission.

Both Chairman Dave Eggers and Commissioner Kathleen Peters opposed the renewal. Peters argued that the project will not provide rides for commuters and residents in other parts of the county.

"And yet you want again have the backs of the citizens pay for this when the benefit isn't countywide," she said.

But the majority of both commissions supported the contract.

Ultimately, the Pinellas County Commission passed the agreement 5-2. In Hillsborough, the motion passed 6-1.

Hillsborough County Commission Chairwoman Pat Kemp voted in favor of the extension.

"We're blessed that we have a waters that we can use this on and take some relief off our roads," she said. "I know I hear a lot about getting cars off the road by helicopters and all this but our water, it serves the same purpose for us."

Pinellas may reassess the agreement before next June.

Bailey LeFever is a reporter focusing on education and health in the greater Tampa Bay region.