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Pirate Water Taxi in downtown Tampa expands to meet ridership demands

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Posted at 5:14 AM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 17:18:32-05

TAMPA, Fla. — On Friday, the City of Tampa along with Visit Florida will celebrate the expansion of the Pirate Water Taxi.

To meet the demand of riders the company is expanding its fleet by adding a 100 passenger ship.

“We’ve seen year over year, just ridership increase. We needed to create a bigger boat. We had the demand so we needed to be able to service that," said Director of Marketing Jennifer Richardson.

The Pirate Water Taxi is a daily hop on, hop off service in downtown Tampa.

There are 15 stops along the Hillsborough River from Sparkman Wharf to Rick's on the River.

This year the water taxi will add another stop to its list at The Florida Aquarium.

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They're seeing more and more people choose the water taxi to get around Tampa to avoid congestion.

“The pirate water taxi is a great option if you’re trying to get from one area in downtown to another and you want to avoid the parking and the traffic challenges and it’s just a great alternative," said Richardson.

Adding even more stops and ships could be possible in the future if ridership continues to increase.

Right now there are more than 2,000 annual pass holders.

With increased traffic downtown, the company is investing in water taxis as commuters look for other ways to get around.

“We’re kind of looking forward to taking time to go up and down the river and see what we can see," said rider Dean Messner.

Pirate Water Taxi is also adding The Lost Pearl ship which will be used for interactive pirate cruises.

The fleet expansion celebration starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Convention Center dock.