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WATER TAXIS ON STT  

 

OldTart
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June 28, 2012 11:05 am  

It seems as though there's finally going to be some progress made in the decades-long move to get a water taxi operation going along the St Thomas waterfront to alleviate some of the road traffic congestion. The VI Daily News reported that at the recent tourism conference, "The waterways through St. Thomas Harbor recently have been added to the federal highway system, and Smalls (DPW Commissioner) said the government will solicit bids for a company to provide regular water transportation from the West Indian Co. dock, to the Charlotte Amalie apron, to Crown Bay."

Undeniably a step in the right direction. (tu)


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SapphireBeach08
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June 28, 2012 1:57 pm  

Excellent!


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Jamison
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June 28, 2012 2:00 pm  

That's a great idea.


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wenchtoo
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June 28, 2012 4:09 pm  

Donkey years ago the water island ferry ran from water island to crown bay, water front, yacht haven..the the frenchmans reef took over from ther..ran reef, yacht haven water front. I took both many times.


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Alana33
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June 29, 2012 2:01 pm  

I believe the ferry stills runs that route from Fr. Reef.

Good thing this will happen at some point in time, especially now that TAXI's have been deregulated by our illustrious (to their mind) senators and anyone can "BORROW" a taxi. Good Grief! What are these idiots thinking, passing this bill?
Pure and Simple! A Prime Example of these senators PANDERING for the taxi vote instead of looking out for the interest of the public.
The STT Source article had me so VEXED as you can see from my comments there.
http://stthomassource.com/content/news/local-news/2012/06/27/senate-deregulates-taxis

Maybe down the line they'll want to pass a bill to let anyone borrow the ferry boats!


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sttanon
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June 29, 2012 2:06 pm  

Problem with this is yet again I am sure the Taxi Association will use their political pull and get it blocked some how 🙁


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Alana33
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June 29, 2012 2:50 pm  

Problem with this is yet again I am sure the Taxi Association will use their political pull and get it blocked some how 🙁

Of course! And hopefully, it shall be an entity that is not the Taxi Association that runs it.
It would be beautiful if downtown STT/Main Street was a walking mall with lovely plants and benches, possibly a trolley that runs from one end to the other for the tired, elderly or the shopping over-encumbered to hop on and off.Instead of the exhaust ladened air, backed up, traffic nightmare it presently is. Ditto for Cruz Bay. Don't know about STX.

In order for any of this to happen, a very large parking facility would need to be built or we might need to limit the number of cars imported and how many each family could own, just like Bermuda does. They are very strict with their taxi association there.
It is a privilege to drive a taxi, not a right and if a driver has infractions, then they lose the right to be a driver. Forever!
Plus, they actually have a wonderful bus system in Bermuda with buses designed for their island which are clean, open, run on schedule (like the states) and relatively inexpensive to ride. As a tourist there, we used buses and taxi's to get around as opted not to go the scooter rental route. Their taxi drivers were wonderful, courteous, knowledgeable and helpful as was everyone we encountered in the stores and restaurants, etc.


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OldTart
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June 29, 2012 5:29 pm  

Problem with this is yet again I am sure the Taxi Association will use their political pull and get it blocked some how 🙁

Things do change albeit very slowly. Over two decades ago (as far back as my local knowledge goes) the water taxi proposal was first presented and the Taxi Association voting bloc not only fought long and hard to not only ensure that such a proposal would sink but also allegedly physically sabotaged the boat and thus the efforts of a local who received licensing to run such an operation.

If the taxi contingent back then had pooled its money over a few years to accumulate the necessary funds to get even one water taxi operational, their investment would have been by now not only covered in full but they'd be reaping the continued income from such an operation. No foresight, no business sense, no gain. Dumber than dumb.

As far as poster Alana's comments are concerned, I couldn't agree more. The beautification of Main Street has been hashed over for years. Money has been spent on some awesome proposals and plans to turn it into a lovely pedestrian haven but not one of these plans has ever been implemented. The continual mess of traffic there prevails and both visitors and locals have to hug the meager sidewalks to avoid the passing motorists who are likewise frustrated by the general flow.

As far as the "new rule" about taxi drivers being able to loan their vehicle to a friend or relative or whoever, hopefully the Governor will veto such an incredibly daft piece of legislation.


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East Ender
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June 29, 2012 9:31 pm  

RE; The downtown mall idea. I believe that it is not a popular idea with many Main Street merchants. The noise, heat and "Back to the ship!" calls force people to duck into stores to shop rather than stroll....

Re: the other ideas. Dream on.;)


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sttanon
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July 2, 2012 2:12 pm  

If the taxi contingent back then had pooled its money over a few years to accumulate the necessary funds to get even one water taxi operational, their investment would have been by now not only covered in full but they'd be reaping the continued income from such an operation. No foresight, no business sense, no gain. Dumber than dumb.

Part of the problem ( or this is what I heard ) to be a water taxi operator you also have to get Coast Guard certification, something which the taxi association members were unable or unwilling to do.

Of course! And hopefully, it shall be an entity that is not the Taxi Association that runs it.

The other part of the problem as I remember it was that there was something in the law that even though it is a boat on the water, since it was a vehicle for hire so to speak it was a taxi. Again this was a few years back when this was proposed so I could be remembering wrong.

Don't get me wrong, I think that the idea is a great one and something that has been needed for a long time and would really help with traffic downtown and also give the waterfront vendors downtown some much needed exposure to their businesses again.


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Exit Zero
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July 3, 2012 5:03 am  

to drive a water taxi for more than 6 passengers the boat will have to be a USCG Inspected Vessel - the vessel will be subject to very specific rules and very strict inspection requirements -- the operator will have to have 720 recorded days underway at sea and obtain a USCG Masters MMD, which will also require drug testing, a physical exam, CPR certification, STCW certification and possibly others depending on the vessel - all our ferry Captains hold these documents and maintaining them is a costly process as well. So there it is likely to be very few vessels that will qualify as a water taxi, unless they carry 6 or less passengers and very few members of our taxi fleet that would ever be likely to obtain the required license to operate them, and even then, a USCG license to carry 6 or less passengers has a fairly stringent set of requirements.
There will never be a fleet of water taxis - a few private companies may buy suitable vessels, similiar to the Frenchmans Reef boat - and ply a route from Crown Bay - waterfront - Yacht Haven, charging a price comparable to land trips and maybe alleviate some traffic congestion.


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info@seahorsevi.com
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September 22, 2018 10:32 am  

We are a water taxi based out of Red Hook on St. Thomas.

SeaHorse Water Taxi - www.seahorsevi.com

We specialize in first class land and water transport between USVI and BVI. Airport to your destination of charter boat or resort. We also cater to groups between 4 – 40+ people. If you have questions, feel free to reach out


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Jerry Barth
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October 1, 2018 2:47 pm  

Most people on Water Island oppose this as well. The problem with the proposal is that the Water Taxi would only run on cruise ship days. The Water Island Ferry is run daily with hourly service. According to the owner it is barely profitable as it is due to the reasons mentioned by Exit Zero and the fact that most runs are only about 1/4 to 1/2 full with local Water Island people. The only times the ferry is full is on cruise ship days for a couple of runs in the morning and the same people going back to the ship in the afternoon. This is where he makes his money. Most people on Water Island (including us) don't have a boat/dinghy to get back and forth and rely heavily on the Water Island Ferry continuing to run. If the Water Taxi service on cruise ship days starts running then this will siphon off the most profitable part of the Water Island Ferry business and more than likely cause it to shut down. So then on non cruise ship days we will have no way to get back and forth. I imagine the running hours of the Water Taxi will be catered to to cruise ship passengers, i.e. shutting down mid afternoon or so when everyone is back at the ship. For people on Water Island who have a job in STT this would be a huge problem.


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ms411
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October 1, 2018 4:23 pm  

The Water Island ferry ran fewer daily trips prior to opening of Crown Bay when the service was mostly for Water Island residents. Now the ferry runs every hour, I think, and Water Island is now an attraction as opposed to a secret. The ferry survived pre cruisers.


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NugBlazer
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October 1, 2018 9:24 pm  

Most people on Water Island oppose this as well. The problem with the proposal is that the Water Taxi would only run on cruise ship days. The Water Island Ferry is run daily with hourly service. According to the owner it is barely profitable as it is due to the reasons mentioned by Exit Zero and the fact that most runs are only about 1/4 to 1/2 full with local Water Island people. The only times the ferry is full is on cruise ship days for a couple of runs in the morning and the same people going back to the ship in the afternoon. This is where he makes his money. Most people on Water Island (including us) don't have a boat/dinghy to get back and forth and rely heavily on the Water Island Ferry continuing to run. If the Water Taxi service on cruise ship days starts running then this will siphon off the most profitable part of the Water Island Ferry business and more than likely cause it to shut down. So then on non cruise ship days we will have no way to get back and forth. I imagine the running hours of the Water Taxi will be catered to to cruise ship passengers, i.e. shutting down mid afternoon or so when everyone is back at the ship. For people on Water Island who have a job in STT this would be a huge problem.

Why not just get a dinghy? I'm amazed that so many live on Water Island without a dinghy... depending on the Water Taxi would stress me out!


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Alana33
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October 1, 2018 11:39 pm  

There was also a regular small boat ferry that ran between Frenchman's Bay/Marriot resort dock that stopped at Hassle Island then ran over to the waterfront.

Is that still in service?

If I lived on either Hassel Island or Water Island I'd praise the fact there was any reliable boat transportation.

Or provide my own, either singularly or collectively.

This is an old post and we're still waiting.


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ms411
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October 2, 2018 12:50 am  

The Marriott ferry doesn't stop at Hassel Island.


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