New ferry service plans another vessel, trips to Coconut Grove
Since resuming service Aug. 16, Poseidon Ferry’s passenger count continues to climb, and operators plan to add another vessel and a new route.
“Service is going well,” said CEO Johnathan Silvia. “The last two weeks of August we had 1,163 passengers. For the first half of September we had 1,000, and we are optimistic that we will see better statistics at the end of the month. There is probably some hesitation from covid-19 still, but occupancy at the Hyatt Regency hotel” – the ferry’s downtown Miami docking site – “has been great, and cruise ships are back.”
Although increased sales of weekly and monthly trip books indicate that commuter transport is growing, he said, leisure passengers currently top commuters, and schedules have been tweaked to reflect demand.
To be as efficient as possible Mr. Silvia said, “we have temporarily cancelled some midday and afternoon runs, when we are least busy, and extended weekend hours, departing from Miami every hour from 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and from South Beach from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.”
Poseidon Ferry aims to bring on another vessel by mid-November, with plans to start adding more routes – possibly beginning with Coconut Grove-Miami service.
“We have located an 89-passenger high-speed ferry that travels at 20 knots,” Mr. Silvia said, “and is more maneuverable than what we have now, and we are working with Irene Hegedus to find easily attainable sites for docking.”
Ms. Hegedus, chief of Transportation Enhancements for the county’s Department of Transportation & Public Works and a longtime advocate for affordable waterborne transportation, has been working with Mr. Silvia and city governments for years to make it a reality.
Staffing, formerly a huge problem, is finally coming together, Mr. Silvia said, with the help of the Beacon Council and other agencies.
“They have been sending us candidates for jobs,” he said, “as part of an effort to get at-risk youth working and earning a living wage. It’s a small, very rewarding way that we can give back to the community.”