A recent Tampa Bay Business Journal Article titled Casey Ellison Always Knew Tampa Could Be This Cool written by Ashley Gurbal Kritzer, included this question, followed by Mr. Ellison’s powerful response:
What other issues facing this region keep you up at night?
Transportation is a disaster. It’s only going to get worse. We can’t seem to get our act together as a community to work together to solve that problem. Infrastructure in general. We’re taxing all of it. Everything’s at its max. Unfortunately, we haven’t done a good job of planning and expanding those facilities to be ready for growth. Now it’s going to be reactionary. From a homeowners insurance and commercial insurance perspective, I think we’ve got an uphill battle over the next few years.
Public governance is a big risk. I do think that’s probably one of the biggest risks. We need to make sure our citizenry is holding public officials accountable and making sure they’re not standing in the way of progress. Of course, they have to uphold the law, but they need to encourage and promote the continued development of our city.
Having a well-connected and all-inclusive ferry system can contribute to improving transportation in the Tampa Bay area. Political issues have hindered the progress of achieving this goal.
The success of the ferry service, a piece of the transportation solution in Tampa Bay, relies on multiple partnerships, municipalities, and levels of government, not just one.
New Hillsborough County Commissioner Wostal has requested a comprehensive report on the current status of the feasibility study of the South County Ferry, which will be done at the July 12, 2023 meeting. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about this project, its current status, and its impact in Hillsborough County and the Tampa Bay region.
The reality is that Hillsborough County has three (3) new commissioners who are unfamiliar with this project and don't know what they don't know. They are in their first year in this new role and are sure to learn lots. They don't even know if the community wants a ferry system. To make the project possible, the support of Hillsborough County staff and the Board of County Commissioners is crucial.
Tampa Bay Ferries Alliance is encouraging residents and supporting organizations to share your stories and comments relating to:
successful ferry transit experiences - especially those from other regions
importance and benefits to those who work on base, and their families, for a MacDill Commuter service direct from South Hillsborough County
fantastic benefits of traveling from South Hillsborough County to downtown Tampa or downtown St. Petersburg
quality of life, economic, and any other benefits
Kindly take a moment to email ALL the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners using the link below. We request that your email is respectful and informative.
Submitting a supportive statement prior to the July 12 meeting will have a significant impact and be highly valued. We appreciate your time and support to do. Thank you!
NOTE: At the June 22nd meeting, the Crossbay seasonal service between downtowns St. Pete and Tampa was approved by the Hillsborough County Commission for one more year of seasonal service (starting Oct 2023 to operate thru Jun 2024). This is only a small part of the full comprehensive project plan, for permanent year-round sustainable ferry service in Tampa Bay.
The Tampa Bay Ferries Alliance is an independent nonprofit organization committed to bringing quality, sustainable, permanent year-round ferry service to the Tampa Bay region. For more information, visit TampaBayFerriesAlliance.org or email info@TampaBayFerriesAlliance.org