It's not hard to notice that Hillsborough County is GROWING leaps and bounds. New Residential Communities and Businesses seem to be popping up like weeds providing commerce to the communities and helping to revitalize the economic downfall from a few years back. Most of us locals here in Hillsborough welcome the growth but....what's going to happen to my commute? Where do we put all these new students moving into the area? All very valide concerns, stirring a sense of anxiety to the community.
Downtown Tampa has already been working on expanding and resurfacing parts of I-4 and 275 to accomodate the current and projected increase of commuter traffic. Unfortunately, at some point you run out of room to expand these roads. So Hillsborough County and surrounding Counties of Tampa Bay have started to look at the waterways as a transportation solution. One Major Project in particular causing a lot of buzz is the "Tampa Bay High Speed Ferry" Project.
Projected to be done in phases, the first Phase would entail many "test" runs strictly to and from MacDill Air Force Base to the Apollo Beach area. MacDill AFB will have trams distributed throught the base to provide on-base transportation for more then 5,300 military famililies residing in the Hillsborough County Area.
The service will be a cheaper and more effective form of transportation and will help eleviate the amount of vehicular activity on major roadways in the Tampa Bay Area.
After the first Phase has been completed and market conditions warrant the second Phase, the project will focus on off-peak Recreational and Tourism Services. What does this mean?
You may soon be able to take the ferry
Concerts, a Day at the Beach or to catch a Rays game!
So........where are we going to put these Commuter Lots here in Apollo Beach?
The Ferry Park would serve 5 Purposes
1. Ferry Terminal:
An accessible Terminal for parking and vessel docking with minimal enviornmental impacts.
2. Waterfront Recreational Park:
Accomadations to the public would include-
- Concession Stand
- Lighted Parking
- Public Restrooms
- Beach Area
- Canoe and Kayak Ramp
3. New Environmental Lands, Wildlife and Greenway Connections:
Preservation and Restoration of Natural Communities of land.
4. Urban-Eco Tourism:
Connecting less Urban area visitors with the more Urban Cities providing more opportunities to get out and enjoy what great activities the Tampa Bay Area has to offer!
5. Improved and Enhanced Industrial Enhancement:
The Ferry Terminal development and Trans Systems will help existing and growing Industrial Industries.