Water taxis could take 2-3 weeks for Coast Guard approval

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Plans to have the water taxis running this weekend and for the first preseason football game have sunk.

Members of the waterways commission got an update Wednesday morning on the taxi situation, learning it could take two to three weeks before they get Coast Guard approval for the two boats that have already arrived.

That means the upcoming video board event Saturday will not have water taxi service available, nor will the first Jaguars preseason game Aug. 8.

"We're trying to expedite that, but you're absolutely right, there are a number of events coming up," said Karen Bowling, of the Mayor's Office. "We're working closely with the (Jacksonville Transportation Authority) to make sure people have multiple means of transportation to get to the stadium."

That's not the only situation. The city is still working out a deal on how to get an operator to run the boats temporarily. They're still working out the final details. That could take time for some approval.

Some City Council members say they want to look at that contract even though it's not necessary for them to do that.

As for a permanent operator, getting someone to buy the boats will take some time. Two companies are still trying to do that and operate the system. That has yet to be approved.

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