The total ridership for the taxpayer-subsidized Cross Bay Ferry (CBF) was 3,867 in January. This was a 24% decline from December, with both months having 29 days of vessel operations.
See our article on the CBF from last month as background information. Four local government entities are subsidizing this pilot with a total of $1.4 million for the 6 months it is operating (No. 1 to Apr. 30).
Ed Turanchik, the attorney for the ferry operator HMS, told the Guardian on January 10th that he expected that “weekday ridership will go down in January, and then up again in February and March.” However, weekend ridership also dropped 22% in January compared to December.
The spreadsheet of ridership data for all three months of operation so far is here, and a financial statement from HMS is here for those who wish to look closer. Both documents were transmitted to the City of St. Pete on February 14th. We requested and received copies directly from HMS.
The Tampa Bay Times also published an article about the CBF today, but it did not include February ridership numbers. However, it did describe one trip with just two other passengers, and another trip where there were “rows of empty seats separating us from other riders.”
CBF recently lowered the price of one-way tickets from $10 to $5 on weekdays for all of February to see if ridership will improve. The Guardian will follow up in March with a more detailed article om CBF.
As always, the Guardian reports and the readers decide. Please like our Facebook page to find out when we publish our articles.