ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — If you have taken the Cross Bay Ferry, you’d know it used to dock near North Straub Park, near the St. Pete Pier. Not anymore.
The Cross Bay Ferry will now have a new docking location a little less than a mile away at the Port of St. Petersburg.
“People can make a day of it so it’s not just a commute across the bay, it’s making a day of it a ferry ride,” said Missy Hardy, My Coastal Soul Boutique owner.
Business owners fear the economic impact when the ferry docks a mile away.
“It’s a nice simple day, they get on the boat, they land right in front of my store, so with that not happening now it could be really catastrophic,” said Jelani Martinez, Sartorial Inc. creative director.
Evan Mory with the City says St. Pete no longer has a valid permit to use the docks across from north Straub Park.
“Our permit with the Army Corps of Engineers allowed three trips per day and only allowed for six months what we applied for initially,” Mory
“Our permit with the Army Corps of Engineers allowed three trips per day and only allowed for six months what we applied for initially,” Mory said.
The ferry is expected to start service in October and will run a nine-month season with four or five trips a day.
“It’s a distance, so hopefully they’ll compensate with transportation that will shadow people down this way,” said Hardy.
The city says it plans to make space for rental bikes and scooters.
“It’s going to be imperative that us, a small businesses, we spend more money on advertising now. All you can do is hope that you get that money back,” Martinez said.
The Cross Bay Ferry is set to kick off the season later this month and will run through June.