Last week a new and seemingly obvious way for workers and tourists to make the commute from Downtown to South Beach washed upon our shores. If you want to avoid our clogged roads, you can now board a ferry from James L. Knight Convention Center at 200 SE Second Ave in Downtown to Bentley Bay Marina at 520 West Ave in Miami Beach.
As of now the ferry leaves every hour on the hour from South Beach, and every hour on the half hour from Downtown. Prices are less than your average Uber running as low as $3 each way for Florida residents during rush hour (from 5:45 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. and again from 2:50 p.m. to 7:40 p.m.) and $5 each way at all other times for those with a valid Florida ID. Kids under 12 always get to ride for free. Tickets for the sixteen minute ride can be purchased on-line at their website, at ticket windows outside the docks, or even on board the boat.
Miami-Dade County’s press release on their new form of public transportation described the Poseidon Ferry’s vessel as “a 65-foot 2012 Scarano Catamaran Ferry with a passenger capacity of 149. It features a fully climate-controlled interior and a second level non-air-conditioned area, full galley, restrooms, television, and free onboard Wi-Fi”.
Since the bay air is not a cure for COVID, all passengers and staff will have to wear masks. And as long as this pandemic lasts capacity is limited to 50% of the ferry’s overall capacity.
While there’s long been plans to build a rail system along this route to avoid the gridlock that often plagues the bridges between these two hubs, adding boat service is a fun way to give people an alternative way to travel from Miami to Miami Beach.