$4.8 million grant awarded to proposed Tampa ferry

Hillsborough County has to provide $12 million for project

TAMPA, Fla. - A proposed public-private high-speed ferry that would link MacDill Air Force Base to downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg got a big boost with the news of a $4.8 million federal grant for the project.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, on Monday announced the U.S. Department of Transportation grant to Hillsborough Area Regional Transit, the agency that would operate the ferry, which would also run to Gibsonton in southern Hillsborough County.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that the overall price tag for the ferry is $17 million, so the announcement means Hillsborough County would still have to chip in upward of $12 million to get the service up and running. In February, county commissioners approved spending up to $125,000 to study the ferry's feasibility.

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