. The BoatYard's
Island Ferry will be servicing business and residential stops from the
north to the south of Ambergris Caye for the convenience of both
islanders and visitors alike. Their goal is to provide a convenient,
reliable, reasonably priced water transportation system for everyone.
"The first few weeks will be a settling in period,"
stated Tom Vidrine, project coordinator. "We'll adjust the schedule if
necessary to maintain a dependable service and expand the route if timing
allows." He appeals to the public for their patience in the beginning
while they "work out the kinks".
Island Ferry service commences its first run from
Fido's dock at 7:00 a.m. and ends at 9:10. The next scheduled run begins
at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 2:10 p.m. A final trip leaves the BoatYard at
3:00 p.m. and continues the ocean-side loop until midnight for night
travelers. There are three categories of
approved stops. Already established are the following regular scheduled
"Ferry Stop" or pickup docks: Hustler Dock, Mata Chica, Fido's,
Capricorn and Rendezvous. Other approved docks may only call in for
pickups or request drop-offs at this time.
There are still four regular ferry stops
available to the south for anyone interested. Requirements are safe and
easy docking access, electricity to provide dock lights for nighttime
visits and they must be a reasonable distance from already established
stops. Businesses may contact him at 3231 for further details. There are
limited fixtures available so a timely response is urged. A red
light/green light system can be purchased for signaling after dark. Flags
with these colors will be used during the day.
A radio dispatch system will be used to
coordinate the service. A revolving staff will maintain the phones and
radio providing full-time dispatch for anyone at other docks
calling in for pickups. Additional services will include
freight, limousine and independent taxi service. Existing local water
taxi personnel have been contacted and offered the opportunity to use the
Island Ferry service as a centralized dispatch.
"The biggest benefit is to the consumer,"
explained Vidrine. "First class, affordable service will now be available
all the time." For the price of $10, a ticket allows travel within
one zone; for example, between the Belize Yacht Club and Journey's End.
Tickets may be purchased at all "Ferry Stand" locations or The BoatYard
Marina. Tickets purchased on board the Ferry will be at a higher rate due
to the inconvenience. Pricing varies depending on destination and plans
are for a daily, weekly or monthly ticket purchase. Pricing for staff,
residents and frequent travelers is also being considered. Covered boats
are available for those days of "liquid sunshine". Mr. Vidrine concluded,
"We see this as a boost to the tourism industry on the island. Not only
as a much needed convenience, but added business to everyone north and
south." For more information call Tom Vidrine at the BoatYard at