Key Biscayne and Miami International Boat Show collaborate to improve public safety

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The Village of Key Biscayne leaders, City of Miami, and Miami-Dade County officials are collaborating in hopes of getting residents and visitors on and off the island quickly and safely during major events like the Progressive 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 in a statement. “Our goal has always been to ensure this event is as safe as it is fun.”

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. The shuttle will pick up and drop off Key Biscayne residents and Ritz guests at the main entrance of the event.

“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 Key Biscayne councilwoman Katie Petros. “These events have a direct impact on the access to our island.”

She continued, “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 Miami Boat Show is a great annual event not just for Miami, but the island of Key Biscayne,” said general manager Frank Ferland. “We are delighted to offer the shuttle for both residents and our guests alike, providing an enhanced experience.”

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 Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association — the group that produces the 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,” said Dammrich. “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.

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