JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The city's search for a permanent operator for the St. Johns River water taxis is moving forward.

The city has signed a temporary deal with Harry Frisch, the founder of Beaver Street Fisheries, to use his two pontoon boats that are currently sitting at a Westside marina.

The boats are the same ones the mayor's office tried to purchase, until the city council insisted it had to give its approval first.

News4Jax is told the boats still need to go through inspections, but the hope is they will be ferrying passengers by the end of this month.

At the same time, the city's search for a permanent operator has been narrowed down from three to two. The city is reviewing both bids and expects to reach a decision soon.