Mason Dixon

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It’s time for Bay area governments to sign a new deal for the Cross Bay Ferry. Unfortunately, one county wasn’t willing to stay with continuing the current deal.

After seeing an increase in business in the past season, it’s time to negotiate a new deal between Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, and the cities of St. Petersburg and Tampa. However, one entity chose to say no to the deal.

The Pinellas County commission wants to renegotiate. Each of the four governments involved pays a $190,000 subsidy. Pinellas County says that’s too much for the county to contribute when the only areas that benefit are downtown St. Petersburg and downtown Tampa.

Tickets currently cost just $10 each way, with a price of $8 for seniors, military and students. Travelers in wheelchairs are $5 and children 4 years and under are free. Based on that, with the number of passengers the ferries have been moving, Pinellas County feels it shouldn’t be subsidizing if the travel prices can be raised.

The current two connections for the Cross Bay Ferry are:

  • St. Petersburg Ferry Terminal: located on Bayshore Drive NE, between 2nd Ave North & 5th Ave N across from North Straub Park and just south of the Vinoy Hotel
  • Tampa Ferry Terminal: located on the waterside of the Tampa Convention Center, just west of the Sail Restaurant and Franklin Street
  • There are also plans for a terminal near MacDill Air Force Base and one in the south end of Hillsborough County.

The Ferry runs for seven months of the year. However, there are plans to increase the number of vessels and change to year-round service by 2025. For the Cross Bay Ferry to continue, a deal with the government agencies needs to be made before the deadline in mid-August.
[Source: Fox 13/Cross Bay Ferry]

Family Summer Vacation Trips Within Driving Distance Of Tampa

  • 1. Clearwater Beach:

    The Pinellas County beaches have lots of options from the bustle of Clearwater to the more serene Indian Rocks Beach.

    Clearwater Beach

    The Pinellas County beaches are the nearest place to go for the sun, the sand and the water.(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

  • 2. The most obvious, and possibly expensive: Walt Disney World and Universal

    Orlando area theme parks at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. The tourist mecca of central Florida has seemingly anything you’d like to do. Add in Sea World Orlando and Legoland and there’s something for every age group.

    Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom

    Walt Disney’s dream is still the most visited tourist attraction.
    (Photo by Olga Thompson/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images)

    Universal Studios Orlando Globe

    (Photo by Rachel Pitts/BBGI)

  • 3. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex:

    Some history, some technology, all coolness. If you plan the trip right, you might even be lucky enough to witness a rocket launch.

    Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

    (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • 4. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park:

    Yes, it’s still there and so is the famous mermaid show!

  • 5. Cedar Key:

    It’s a small community on the Gulf of Mexico where you can find yourself enjoying getting away from the ‘big city’ and enjoy some of the best clam chowder in the country. We’re looking at you, Tony’s!

  • 6. Silver Springs State Park:

    You can enjoy looking through the crystal clear waters from a glass-bottom boat. Bring the family to go canoeing or kayaking through the springs.

  • 7. Tarpon Springs

    Whether you visit for the food, or a dolphin cruise, or to learn the history of the sponge docks of Tarpon Springs, it’s a family trip that isn’t so far.

    Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks

    (Photo by Geno/BBGI)

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