St. Armands

Residents Association

Proposed Water Taxi

Late 2020

A Water Taxi Feasibility Study (click here) was prepared in late 2020 by an independent consultant, financed by the City of Sarasota through General Funds and CRA funds.   The study looked at zoning issues, permitting requirements, potential docking locations, and environmental impacts.

October 9, 2023

At a Special City Commission Meeting (a joint meeting with the Town of Longboat Key), a proposed Water Taxi was on the agenda.  The City Engineer reported that "we intend to request State funding specifically for design and construction of the existing docks at Bayfront Park, Ken Thompson Park, and 10th St." 

  • Link to video:  click here
  • Fast forward to:  1:59:00 (1 hour, 59 minutes, 0 seconds)

It is conceivable that the Bay Runner Trolley route could be expanded to link St. Armands Circle with the Ken Thompson Park water taxi stop. 

The study also recommends a docking location just off of St. Armands along Ringling Blvd as shown on the map above, but this location was not included in the City Engineer's comments.  Perhaps this is because the feasibility study acknowledges that such a docking location:

  • Is currently prohibited by City ordinance
  • May endanger marine seagrass and wildlife
  • May infringe upon a State right-of-way
  • Would provide no accommodations for disabled persons  

October 19, 2023

On October 19, 2023, the City Engineer confirmed the following:

"At this juncture, the City is concentrating its efforts on retrofitting existing docks at Bayfront Park, Ken Thompson Park, and 10th St. Any development of new docking facilities, such as the one proposed on John Ringling Blvd near St. Armands Key, would necessitate significant time, resources, and adherence to local and state ordinances, permitting processes, and environmental considerations. Hence, we are not pursuing or recommending a John Ringling Blvd docking location at this time."

Be that as it may, it would not surprise us if this potential water taxi stop were to come in front of the City Commission for their consideration at some point in the future.  St. Armands residents with homes near this proposed water taxi stop have expressed concerns about how this might impact them and their properties.

October-November 2023

2023 Annual Member Survey

What position would you like our Association to take regarding this rumored Ringling Blvd water taxi stop? (n=151)

43% Oppose

19% Remain Neutral

23% Support

11% Don't know / not sure

November 22, 2023

Separately from a possible Sarasota water taxi, Manatee County is about to launch a ferry service. 

Observer article:  Gulf Islands Ferry expected to officially start service Dec. 8

Illustration from the Water Taxi Feasibility Study:

St. Armands Residents Association

P.O. Box 2482, Sarasota, FL  34230

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