Hillsborough County considers ferry service - WFLA News Channel 8

Hillsborough County considers ferry service

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The ferry plans are being considered by the county The ferry plans are being considered by the county

Hillsborough County Commissioners are considering a plan to shift commuters off crowded highways onto the water.

Commissioners just approved $125,000 to study a future ferry service across Tampa Bay. The initial route would take South Hillsborough County residents to their jobs at MacDill Air Force base during rush hour. Eventually more routes could be added to connect south county residents to Channelside and St. Petersburg.

Akerman Senterfitt and HMS Ferries, Inc. (HMS) recently presented their proposal for the public-private partnership to commissioners. The company would agree to cover operating costs. The county would have to come up with millions to buy the boats and build the terminals.

The proposed terminal would be built between Gibsonton and Apollo Beach on land currently owned by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

TampaBayHighSpeedFerry.com promises the service would reduce traffic congestions and "provide faster, cheaper and higher-quality commuting connections for the 5300 military families who reside in south Hillsborough County."

The Federal Government would have to sign off on the plan since the ferries would drop people off on the military base.

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