It is just another day in paradise as drivers pass the looming downtown Miami skyscrapers along Brickell Avenue on a steamy concrete jungle afternoon. Curving around Biscayne Boulevard, the line of traffic picks up I-395 past American Airlines Arena toward South Beach.
Trickling along the causeway, motor vehicle operators in their air sealed gas guzzling machines swerve in and out of lanes dangerously in apparent frustration to get somewhere on time. There must be a better way.
The BiscayneXpress Water Taxi is docked and ready for passengers to climb aboard. Departing from Miamarina near Bayside, riders can enjoy a kiss of fresh air while taking a stress-free scenic cruise across Biscayne Bay to Miami Beach. Designed as an alternative for tourists and locals alike, Captain Kevin Pagan and his crew offer daily roundtrip service from Bayside to the Miami Beach Marina.
“I grew up on South Beach and used to take my 19-foot Aquasport to school at Beach High every day,” Captain Pagan said. “I’ve always been in the marine industry and got my 100-ton captain’s license in 1990. As a private fishing boat captain, finding a way to ferry passengers along the water seemed like a good idea.”
Clients often would request marina pickup service prior to their anticipated fishing expedition aboard Pagan’s 42-foot Custom Carolina Jumanji and the water taxi service evolved from there. Pagan believes the alliances he has established with area venues and anticipated expanded routes will secure the success of a business concept that has been tried before along Miami’s waterways.
“Parking in Miami Beach is out of control. We will pay Bayside parking for our passengers and they can come on over, enjoy a nice lunch while taking in the sights and then get on board to the Beach,” Pagan said.
With plenty of room for up to 38 passengers, the yellow-canopied water taxis offer spacious comfortable cushion seating and high hand rails all around. The $10 one-way trips depart daily at 10:15 a.m.; 12:15, 2:15 and 4:15 p.m. Return trips from Miami Beach are at 10:45 a.m.; 12:45, 2:45 and 4:45 p.m.
Captain Pagan and his crew have a second vessel available (along with Jumanji) and can line up Biscayne Bay tours for special events as during the Food and Wine Festival and myriad activities on the beach year round.
“We have regular customers already like the South of Fifth Neighborhood Association that come on board and often bring friends. Simply from word of mouth so far we have enjoyed a steady stream of business,” Pagan said.
Along with the picturesque, relaxing, road-rage free experience, Pagan said he and his crew also share information with passengers on local history, and tips for protecting Biscayne Bay.
To find out more about BiscayneXpress Water Taxi Service, visit <www.biscaynexpress. com> or call 786-347-5295.