With the massive success of the 2016 Miami International Boat Show water taxi service, Miami officials are exploring the implementation of an official, public water transit system. While the show ultimately saw months of opposition to the show’s move to Miami Marine Basin, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado says the boat show “started the conversation” around a public water transit system, an idea he called a “no brainer” for helping unclog Miami traffic, given the abundance of water, according to Miami Today.
If you were at the show then you most likely took or at least saw the water taxi service and how unbelievably popular it was. It was more than apparent that when given the option of either taking a shuttle bus or waiting in line for the water taxi, more people chose to opt for the water taxi if it made sense for reaching their hotel or accomidations.
“Everyone said the public transportation would not work. It worked fabulously,” show director Cathy Rick-Joule said at the meeting, according to the paper. “The only problem was, we couldn’t keep up with it. It was more popular than we could have possibly imagined,” she said. But that is “fixable,” she said, “and we are excited about that opportunity.”
“We had planned to transfer 25,000 people via water taxi, but we wound up transporting almost 53,000,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich told Trade Only Today. “About 75 to 80 percent of people who attended the show used the park and ride, meaning they used water taxis or shuttle buses. So our communications were extremely successful.”
It will be interesting to see over the next few years how Miami officials develop a plan for public water transportation and also the scale at which the MBS will ramp up their water services for next year!