Miami's not exactly renowned for its fabulous public transport system. But this month, there's a new company trying to get you off the streets.
Miami Water Taxi bills itself as a fun way for tourists to check out our
city, as well as a fresh new way for locals to get around some of Miami's most
popular destinations. With stops at Bayside Marketplace, Brickell Key, and South Beach, the service hits many of Miami's most popular hangouts. But is it worth the price? We took a test spin to find out.
The little yellow boats seat 38 and are easy to spot,
with current stops at Bayside Marketplace, Brickell Key, Downtown River Walk,
South Beach and Finnegan's Irish Pub on the Miami River. Unlike other
boating attractions along the river, Miami Water Taxi is not a guided tour; they're there to get you from point A to point B -- ideal if you're a local who'd rather play Angry Birds than listen to the same old spiel about where Gloria Estefan's house is. Still, the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. On our ride, they greeted each group of customers and were happy to give some insight into the area when asked. The ride offers some fantastic views of the skyline, and it's
always fun for us regular folk to float past Star Island and imagine the sweet
life. You could even spot a dolphin or two on your journey, if you
keep your eyes open -- try doing that from the road.
The Miami Water Taxi experience is certainly geared to
tourists and families, but there's also plenty to entice locals on the go. The trip from downtown to South Beach does take longer by sea than by causeway, but we have to admit that it's nice to have a backup plan when the I-395 turns into a parking lot. If you're heading to the clubs, you'll still have to cab it from Miami Beach Marina to the other side of the island. But at least you don't have to worry about accumulating parking
fees if your car stays in one place all night. Plus, you're one less car on those congested
streets. We'll celebrate just about any opportunity to avoid driving in this town.
The price, however, could be what sinks this venture. It's not exactly
what you'd call "cheap." For adults, a one-way ticket is $12 and a two-way pass
is $20. That's not much different from taxi fare, but remember: taxis can take up to four people, and even more if you snag a van. The Miami Water Taxi price is per person, so if you're traveling with a pack of friends, you could be looking at upwards of $100 round trip. Our suggestion: If you're a local looking to have a good time, you might as
well get there early for a $30 all-day pass and make a fun excursion out of it.
Riding a boat while tipsy is the ultimate Sunday fun-day; now, you don't have to depend on your boat friends to make it happen.
If you're not rich, or banging someone who's rich, and don't
have access to a private boat, it's definitely worth taking a spin on the Miami Water
Taxi for a fun day on the water. Be sure to check out
the schedule on their website before heading out. The service is
currently operating under special Boat Show schedules, which will expand beginning
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.