When boating enthusiasts descend on Miami Marine Stadium for the 2019 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, presented by West Marine, on Virginia Key during President’s Day weekend, they will encounter new and innovative plans to keep traffic moving. Village of Key Biscayne leaders have been hard at work with City of Miami and Miami-Dade County officials as well as event planners in the hopes of getting their residents and visitors on and off the island quickly and safely during major Miami Marine Stadium events like the upcoming Miami International Boat Show.
“The Miami Boat Show is a staple of President’s Day weekend in South Florida,” said Key Biscayne Police Chief Charles Press. “Our goal has always been to ensure this event is as safe as it is fun.”
Among the improved traffic flow features being unveiled is a Key Biscayne resident shuttle bus. Village leaders and Boat Show organizers sat down and brainstormed a new transportation option for its residents to and from the event that will help relieve both traffic and parking congestion. In an effort spearheaded by Key Biscayne Councilwoman Katie Petros, true collaboration was forged to improve both public access and safety.
“We are striving to have a seat at the table to work through conflicting interests and find solutions that protect the residents, workers, and visitors of Key Biscayne,” said the councilwoman. “These events have a direct impact on the access to our island. The changes in traffic planning done by the organizers of the Boat Show and their commitment to a shuttle service for our residents are a big step forward in a new relationship. We want to thank them and our own Ritz-Carlton Hotel for their efforts. We will continue to take steps to encourage the City of Miami and the County to listen to our Village when planning for events on Virginia Key that rise to a scale where traffic patterns are affected and ecosystems are threatened.”
The Village has partnered with The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami and Miami Boat Show organizers to provide an hourly shuttle service from the hotel which will drop-off and pick-up residents and Ritz guests right at the main entrance of the event.
“The Miami Boat Show is a great annual event not just for Miami, but the island of Key Biscayne. We are delighted to offer the shuttle for both residents and our guests alike, providing an enhanced experience,” said General Manager Mark Ferland.
As the Miami Boat Show enters its fourth year on Virginia Key, Village leaders and event planners made significant strides working together on traffic and public safety issues.
“The Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show is pleased to be working with Key Biscayne on new transportation options for residents and visitors of Key Biscayne attending the show,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich, producers of the Miami Boat Show. “Since the move to Miami Marine Stadium, we have consulted with the Village extensively on the show’s Maintenance of Traffic plan and together are excited to introduce a new shuttle service from The Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne. This is another step in working toward our shared goal of creating the best traffic plan possible when the boat show is in town and minimizing traffic delays on the Rickenbacker Causeway.”
The 30-seat shuttle run from 10 a.m. to 7p.m. February 14-17, 2019 and will depart hourly from the front drive fountain area of the resort of the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami. Village Leaders have also worked to expand Freebee service on Key Biscayne throughout the holiday weekend to transport residents to and from the hotel, further cutting back on island traffic.