MIAMI BEACH — The inaugurated its new water taxi service on Friday for people who want to feel like they are on vacation instead of just schlepping through traffic.
The new service opened at 3 p.m. on Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony along the Purdy Avenue dock at 18 Street and Purdy Avenue in the city’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood.
Miami Beach spokeswoman Melissa Berthier told Patch that the city partnered with Water Taxi Miami to expand its existing service.
“It was much more like a tourist experience,” she said of the prior service, adding that the new service will initially only run from Fridays through Sundays from the Purdy Avenue location. The service operates seven days per week at three other locations.
“That can change if demand increases,” she said. “It will certainly be welcomed for Art Basel and all the other events that we have. I would also like to stress that we hope this becomes a viable commuter service — not only for visitors, but for Miami Beach residents and those across the bay that visit Miami Beach often.”
With the service, people can now drop their cars off at the dock and sail between Miami and Miami Beach with access points at the Miami Beach Marina or Purdy Avenue Dock in Miami Beach and Bayside Marketplace or Sea Isle Marina on the Miami side.
“We’re working very hard with the city and the city of Miami Beach to make it into a commuter service,” added Max Vlessing, who owns the Water Taxi Miami service.
Here is the weekend schedule with later sailings available from June 1 to Aug. 31:
Each vessel carries up to 38 people and can accommodate bicycles. One way passage costs $15 for adults ($10 for Miami Beach residents) and $7.50 for children four and under. Children under one are free while seniors 65 and older also pay $10 as do people in the military. There is a monthly pass option for $95 and an annual pass for $295.
Visit Water Taxi Miami online or call 305.600.2511 for more information.