With pilot water taxi service completing a successful run on August 12 launching from Tuckerton Seaport, this alternate mode of transportation continues to be at the heart of the economic development discussion for Southern Ocean County.
SHIP BOTTOM, N.J. – Aug. 14, 2017 – Earlier this year, Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce had launched the Downtown Driven Program and announced availability to work directly with two local municipalities on economic development and downtown revitalization. Beach Haven and Tuckerton Economic Development Councils passed resolutions to sign on to begin formulating best practices, business orientated initiatives and tourism initiatives that would set goals and advance awareness for incoming as well as established businesses.
After the chamber representatives attending meetings on both sides, it was clear that stakeholders in both boroughs were interested into feasibility of running a water taxi service to benefit visitors, residents and possibly commuters. Representatives from both Economic Development Councils, Southern Ocean Chamber and the Tuckerton Seaport have been meeting monthly since spring at the Southern Ocean County Chamber office to talk short and long term strategies. The Ocean County Planning Department has also met with the group to assist with logistical issues and see if there is any available grant funding to offset operational costs. The Tuckerton Seaport had suggested hosting a test run on August 12 utilizing USCG licensed Captain Tom Masterson, owner of LBI Boat Tours which docks at the Morrison’s Marina Beach Haven. The 24 passenger seats were offered free of charge and filled within 48 hours. There were four originating trips (2 from Tuckerton and 2 from Beach Haven) and then returning trips later that day.
All riders were surveyed and rated the service as excellent, that they would recommend it to a friend and would pay for the service. Next steps will continue to be discussed with the group on bringing the taxi into a regularly routed service. Additional service is being considered for operating during Decoy Weekend and Chowderfest Weekend, details will be announced once finalized.
For more information about the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Driven Program please contact 609)494-7211, stop into their visitor center at 265 W Ninth St Ship Bottom or go to www.visitLBIregion.com Find out more about what is being offered at the Tuckerton Seaport and Beach Haven