Traffic. Nobody likes it. Nobody likes sitting in it. But during certain times on the clock or calendar, sitting in traffic is almost unavoidable. Or is it? If the plans that are already in motion stay on track, you could be able to travel to visit downtown Bradenton or Palmetto from Anna Maria Island without sitting in traffic as early as next month. This is because of the new water taxi service being planned.
Why Do We Need This?
Of course, traffic congestion is the biggest part. Nobody wants to spend their vacation time sitting on an overcrowded causeway or at a traffic light. The other big factor is parking. Parking is always a balancing act in any beach community. The desire to have beautiful beaches to enjoy is in conflict with the desire to have a place to park so you can go enjoy it. And why wouldn’t you want to see the sights of the beautiful water instead of staring at the license plate of the car in front of you?
What Would It Do?
Quite simply, the water taxi will run continuous, scheduled routes, starting at the Bradenton Riverwalk. The taxi would then make stops at the Anna Maria Island Pier, Bradenton Beach Pier, and at Coquina Beach. This is similar to the ferry service that downtown Clearwater enjoys.
About the Vessels
The water taxi service will be conducted with 2 vessels that are currently under construction. The brand new vessels will be named “Downtown Dutchess” and “Miss Anna Maria”. Both are scheduled to be completed in late June and each will have a 49-passenger capacity.
When Would it Run?
According to the Bradenton Herald, the water taxi service would initially be offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday between Bradenton, the City of Anna Maria and Bradenton Beach. The service can then grow according to consumer needs.
A data research company conducted surveys during the Memorial Day holiday to get a better idea of who may be interested in using the water taxi. They plan to gather more data during the 4th of July weekend. One plan is to integrate the ferry service with the existing app that lets Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) riders track other public transportation. This would include the free Island Trolley service we have on Anna Maria Island.
Is it Free?
While the Island Trolley is a free service, the water taxi would not be free. It is, however, not expensive either. Currently, the fares are planned to be $8 for a one-way trip and $10 for an all-day pass.
When Will it Start?
The new water taxi service doesn’t have an exact start date, but the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that it will begin between July and early August.
This water taxi is just another way for you to explore the area during your stay with us. Your luxury vacation rental comes with bicycles, a golf cart and other ways to explore as well. Whether you want to be on the go all the time or just relax and enjoy the beach, we want you to have options. If you need more information about transportation or suggestions about things to do, contact our local experts. They can’t wait to make your stay unforgettable.
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