UPDATE: APRIL 2, 2022
Folks, we’d like to thank the community for the overall positive feedback to the proposal of a downtown Water Taxi. Unfortunately, despite the overall positive reception, this proposal will not move forward. That’s because the proposal released on April 1, 2022 was an April Fools’ joke. We hope you enjoyed it. While it was a joke, it does highlight the treasure we have next to us…the beautiful Miami River. Maybe someday we can use it more effectively as a means of transport and recreation. Again, thanks to everyone who responded so positively to the idea of a using a water taxi. Unfortunately, once the flood gates were installed near NW 36th Street, the reality of using the river as means of navigation has become impossible.
ORIGINAL POST: APRIL 1, 2022 (aka April Fools’ Day)
The South Florida Water Management District in conjunction with the Florida Department of Transportation announced a proposal that would provide Water Taxi Services from NW Miami-Dade including Miami Springs, Medley, Hialeah, and Hialeah Gardens to downtown Miami. If the proposal moves forward, it would allow residents to travel via water taxi from Miami Springs to downtown Miami.
New Boat Dock
The proposal calls for development of a new dock at the existing boat ramp on North Royal Poinciana Boulevard. According to SFWMD, “This location has existing infrastructure including a catwalk for Hialeah residents, and existing boat ramp, pedestrian walkway, and bike path making this and ideal access point. Furthermore, there’s convenient parking across the street at the existing Miami Springs dog park.”
The proposal will require significant infrastructure upgrades including a formal paving of the dog park parking lot and ADA upgrades to allow wheelchair access to cross the street and access the water taxi. Furthermore, Florida Power & Light will be providing electrical infrastructure upgrades to allow for a high voltage charging station to recharge the Electric Battery Powered Water Taxi Boats.
The proposal has 3 stop in Medley that will service Doral, Medley, Miami-Lakes, Hialeah, and Hialeah Gardens residents. The stop by the Dog Park will service Miami Springs, Virginia Gardens, and Hialeah residents. All stops will conclude at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Miami. It has an existing docking infrastructure that will also be upgraded. More importantly, the James L Knight Center Metro Mover Station is there. That means you can get off the boat and easily navigate anywhere downtown.
The proposal still has many challenges. It requires a new Flood Control Gate Operator at the existing Flood Control Gate located near NW 36th Street and the River. The plan is that the gates will operate as a lock system, similar to the Panama Canal. This will allow the South Florida Water Management District to retain fresh water behind the gates in an attempt to contain high water pressure against the salt water intrusion pressure coming from the Biscayne Bay.
Furthermore, a group of local residents have already voiced opposition to the background. They’re concerned the new Water Taxi will have unintended consequences including more vehicle traffic, cars parked all day long at the dog park, more Hialeah residents using the catwalk to cross over the canal and use the Water Taxi Service.
The FDOT is desperately attempting to offer alternative modes of transportation to move folks from residential areas to business districts and vice versa. As you know, the FDOT has already released a proposal for an elevated highway connecting State Road 112 to NW 36th Street.
They have said that they will be announcing the dates of the public meetings soon, but did say that the first meeting would be held inside the Miami Springs Country Club with catering provided by Hole 19 Scratch Kitchen and Bar.
We have reached out to local officials to get their feedback on the Water Taxi Proposal. We’ll share their feedback once available.
YOUR OPINION MATTERS
What do you think of adding a Water Taxi Service to reach downtown? Would you prefer this over MetroRail?
Let us know what you think in the comments section or via social media.
NOTE: This official announcement was issued on April 1, 2022. Have a great day!