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By Marie Puleo
The Pompano Beach Water Taxi is expected to launch its hop-on, hop-off service along the Intracoastal Waterway by the end of November. The new water taxi service is the result of five years of planning by the City of Pompano Beach, including the building of a water taxi docking station on Riverside Drive and NE 2nd Street, and the refurbishment of docks at five other city-owned properties along the Intracoastal.
In July, the city awarded a five-year contract and a $422,635 subsidy to Pompano Beach Water Taxi, Inc., the company that will be operating the water taxi service on behalf of the city.
“I think the community has been wanting this,” said Jeff Torode, Vice President of Pompano Beach Water Taxi. “And now it has finally come to fruition.”
The water taxi service will run as far north as Cap’s Place Island Restaurant in Lighthouse Point and as far south as Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill in Fort Lauderdale. During the day, when Cap’s Place is closed, the northernmost stop will be the Hillsboro Inlet Park.
Tickets to ride the water taxi will cost $20 per person, with a discounted price of $15 for Pompano Beach residents. Tickets will be valid all day, and can be purchased online at pompanobeachwatertaxi.com, onboard, at the Pompano Beach Water Taxi’s office inside the Sands Harbor Resort, or at participating restaurants.
The service will run seven days a week, beginning at 10am, with the last pick-up from Cap’s Place and Bokamper’s at 10pm.
At Bokamper’s, passengers will be able to connect to the Water Taxi of Fort Lauderdale at an additional cost of about $15. To ride all the way to Hollywood will cost a bit more.
A free phone app will provide real-time information on boat locations and arrival times; directions to the nearest water taxi stop; maps for the water taxi routes; and a list of restaurants that offer discounts to water taxi passengers.
Adding a water taxi service offers residents and tourists a fun and convenient way to get around the city’s eastern edge, said Torode.
“The whole idea is not to drive,” he said. “Our waterways are one of the easiest ways to get around, especially in season.”
Torode has previous experience running a water-related business. Since 1996, he has operated South Florida Diving Headquarters, which is based at the Sands Harbor Marina and offers snorkeling, diving and glass bottom boat tours. He also operates Pompano-based Flyboard South Florida and Serenity Yacht Charters, which specializes in dinner cruises along the Intracoastal.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]