While some parts of Tampa Bay continue to talk about using a water ferry service for travel, it is being done to a certain extent already in Clearwater.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is offering a water ferry service between its Island Estates facility and Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure downtown.
The water ferry has been running for about six months, said Krista Rosado, spokeswoman for the aquarium.
Visitors to see Winter the dolphin can travel about 1.5 miles over the water between the two attractions aboard a 40-passenger catamaran.
The aquarium has two of the catamarans to ferry visitors back and forth. After docking at the Clearwater Harbor Marina downtown, visitors take a short, uphill walk to the Harborview Center.
Already, the runs what is called the “CMA Express” route between the two attractions.
Bob Longenecker, president of the Jolley Trolley, sees the water ferry service as a compliment, not competition, to his service, especially when tourist traffic can back up along Memorial Causeway bridge.
Longenecker said the trolleys take about 40,000 guests a month between Winter’s "Dolphin Tale" Adventure downtown and the Island Estates location. He said ridership spiked to 88,000 in July.
The ferry runs at the top of the hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It leaves each half hour from Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure. Like the trolley service, it is free with paid admission.