High speed ferry on the horizon

Ferry_Passenger_hispeedLast month the Hillsborough MPO endorsed a high speed passenger ferry as a priority project. If funded as part of the MPO’s 2040 Plan, the ferry could be carrying commuters between Southshore and MacDill Air Force Base within the next several years.

HMS Ferries, Inc. and Akerman Senterfitt are working with the County to establish a public-private partnership for high speed passenger ferry service. This is a rare opportunity for the county, in that a private entity is willing to take on operational risk for a new public transport service benefiting residents.

Recent feasibility studies have shown that a ferry has the potential to provide commuter trips at costs comparable or less than express bus service. It has the potential to provide a competitive service for the given target market. No fatal flaws have been identified; regional stakeholders support the idea, potential terminals have been identified, and the waterways have sufficient capacity.

Ridership estimates suggest there is demand for the service. Depending on frequency and fare, up to 600 daily riders have been estimated, based on surveys.
Image courtesy of of tampabayhighspeedferry.com.

View more information or contact Beth Alden at 813-272-5940 or aldenb@plancom.org.