Ferry service gearing up in St. Pete - FOX 13 News

Ferry service gearing up in St. Pete

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

For most, a trip to Pass-a-Grille Beach from downtown St. Pete is done one way -- you hop in your car and you get on the highway.

Sebastian Font says he's ready to offer an alternative.

"We're going to close the distance between two magnificent places in the country," said Font.

His business is called Island Ferry and his plan is simple: Provide ferry service between Pass-a-Grille and St. Pete by boat.

"People have been asking for this for a while," said Font.

The ride will cost $25 round trip and will take about 30 minutes each way.

Terrie Mitev and her colleagues are in town from Naples for a conference and say a ferry to the beach would make the trip that much more enjoyable.

"You don't have to worry about parking, you can just hop in the boat and relax as you ride out, enjoy your time out on the beach and then go back to wherever you're staying," said Mitev.

Most GPS systems say the drive between downtown St. Pete and Pass-a-Grille takes about 25 minutes, so getting on the ferry would actually take longer -- but that's without traffic.

Island Ferry operators say you won't even notice the extra time because of what you'll see on the way.

"It's a nice ride, very scenic. Instead of sitting in a car, you can lounge here," said Font. "You're going to hit a heck of a lot of less traffic with us."

Laura Estebo lives in St. Pete and says she hits the beach about three times a week. She says it's about time someone offered this service.

"I would take the ferry. I think it's a great idea. They should have done it a long time ago," said Estebo.

Island Ferry service will run on a regular schedule from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. There's already talk of expanding further south.

"August timeframe, we're going to start running something down towards Anna Maria Island. There seems to be a lot of requests for that sort of thing," added Font.

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