Harboring Ideas

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I want to know what it would take to run a passenger ferry between Downtown Tampa and some Eastern Pinellas property.

I started thinking about the ferry idea after focusing on the Memorial Causeway Bridge snafu on Tuesday — the fact Clearwater Beach has no ferry service between the mainland and the beach, which only promotes more driving and does not give an alternative when the Bridge goes out (as it has from time to time for a very long time)

I started thinking how Clearwater is not only wasting it’s great asset — the water — but it’s also not providing an alternative to those trying to get to the beach. You either have to cross the bridge by foot or by car. That creates a big problem when the Memorial used to get stuck in place — messing with the traffic pattern of all of downtown. Yes the new bridge wille alleviate that problem, but that’s still not solving the problem of only one means of getting to Clearwater beach.

And then I thought about the traffic pattern to the rest of the Bay area and that we depend on the bridges to get everywhere between counties, and that there is no real great bus systems on either side of the bay (HARTline sucks, PSTA sucks — all with thanks to the Bay area’s suburban layout).

What do you have to do to get Ferry Service in Tampa Bay? Forget just between the mainland and Beach destinations — how about between Pinellas and Downtown Tampa? How many people could actually RELAX on their commute instead of having to get stressed out because of traffic?

Rail is still something I am very keen on but Ferry service should be simple and easy…. Something not too tough to promote, and an asset to the community.


Filed under Politics

3 Responses to Harboring Ideas

  1. Excellent question, John… My gut instinct is to say that if it was possible (and profitable), it would have been done by now.

    Ferrys usually run where there are no bridges. Since we already have bridges, most travelers would use them instead of a slower (and scheduled) ferry.

    More believeable would be a water taxi between the counties, and even that has no suitors…

  2. Barbara

    I wrote the Tampa Downtown Partnership two years ago about this very thing…it seems to me they could have ferry service between an area around downtown St. Pete — maybe around whitted airport or deman’s landing…and a dock on the trolley stop in downtown Tampa. There are so many of us who cross the bridge each day.