Ferry business proposes service from Anna Maria Island to St. Petersburg area

Waterline Marina Resort Ferry

HOLMES BEACH, FL (WWSB) - Many on Anna Maria Island are accustomed to the traffic that comes with living and vacationing there, but a ferry business says it can fix that.

The island is a secluded peninsula with just about 1,800 residents and there's only one major interstate in and out of the island.

"Currently you have to drive through Bradenton, all the way across Anna Maria bridge to arrive on Anna Maria Island. If you take a boat, it's less than half the distance and less than half the time," said Corey Hubbard of Tampa Bay Ferry and Taxi.

Hubbard said she has that secondary means of transportation that will alleviate the congestion. A ferry service from Holmes Beach on the island to Fort De Soto near St. Pete.

Hubbard's plan is to dock at Waterline Marina Resort for pick up every Wednesday and Saturday at 9 a.m. Then, the ferry would head for Egmont Key and return back to Holmes Beach at 4 p.m. It would hold up to 49 people costing $30 each.

The resort said it's all aboard too, as long as the city gives the go ahead first.

"We need to have the support of the city because we do support their initiatives on making sure that Anna Maria Island stays as quaint as possible," said Sandy Zinck, general manager of Waterline Marina Resort. "They make the right decisions when it comes to transportation and cutting back on those additional vehicles on the road as well."

The city said one of its big concerns is parking, there aren't enough spaces at or near the resort for patrons to park and ride. The Holmes Beach Police Chief said the pedestrian walkways need to be updated too.

"Before we bring more pedestrians to the area, we'd like to have that ironed out and have the safety and the blinkers and the crossing blinkers, things like that, directing people to the proper crosswalks," said Chief Willian Tokajer.

But all of the parties said they're open and willing to discuss further if bringing the ferry here is a feasible solution.

The mayor has just put the ferry service topic on a work session that will be open to the public. For now, it's tentatively scheduled for June 28.

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