City of Sarasota Deciding on Two Major Transportation Projects Including Water-Taxi Service

Possibility of water taxi service

SARASOTA (WWSB) - It’s no secret, the City of Sarasota continues to grow more and more each day. Monday, commissioners are deciding on future plans for new ways of transportation around the city to make sure Sarasota is keeping up with this growth.

They’re looking into the future of the downtown section of Fruitville Road and a study on bringing a water taxi service to Sarasota.

Commissioners are looking at two options for Fruitville. The first one would keep Fruitville as a four lane road from US 41 to US 301, widen the sidewalk to ten feet and move the bike route to second and fourth streets, but the second option would narrow Fruitville to two lanes between Cocoanut and Lemon Avenue. It also includes adding 16 feet wide sidewalks and adding roundabouts at the Cocoanut, Central and Lemon intersections. The rest of Fruitville would still be four lanes.

They’re also diving into transportation on the water. The water taxis would run on set schedules with routes from the mainland to areas like St. Armand’s Key or Ken Thompson Park.

However, before this could be done, commissioners need to approve an additional $58,500 to conduct a feasibility study to make sure this would benefit our area. The total cost would be $108,500 but $50,000 has already been budgeted. Of the new funds, $48,500 would come from funds the city received as a result of the BP oil spill and the remaining $10,000 would come from the planning department’s budget. If approved, a marine engineering expert will look at what infrastructure is needed for the water taxi and if these suggested routes are possible.

Both projects will be voted on at Monday night’s City Commission meeting.

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