Riders of the Marina CoastLink Water Shuttle will now be able to use the service from Memorial Day weekend through the end of September —Friday, May 27th, through Sunday, September 25th, but as a result, they will have to call for service on Fridays throughout the summer and on Saturdays and Sundays in June.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a schedule extension Tuesday, May 10th, for the Marina del Rey water shuttle service, which costs $2 a trip and provides customers with water transportation between six locations in the Marina.
The Marina water shuttle service operated Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend over the last three summers, but Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors officials noticed lower usage on Fridays and during the month of June.
“For some reason the usage was not high on Fridays,” said Rick Velasquez, assistant chief deputy for Supervisor Don Knabe.
The demand for water shuttle service in June has also typically been low mostly due to “cloudy and cool weather,” according to a statement by Stan Wisniewski, director of the Beaches and Harbors department, which funds the water shuttle.
“June has always been low, so we recommended that the whole month be put ‘on call’,” said Dusty Crane, spokeswoman for Beaches and Harbors.
The Department of Beaches and Harbors has also received many inquiries from shuttle customers as to why the service hasn’t continued into September, which is usually a warm month and within many visitors’ vacation periods, Wisniewski said.
After reviewing the frequency of shuttle usage, the department recommended that the Board of Supervisors change the water shuttle schedule to an “on call” taxi service on Fridays and throughout June, to allow for continued service through the end of September, Crane said.
“By backing off and not having a full schedule of services, we will save enough money to take the service through September, when we usually have nice weather,” she said.
“The water shuttle service is a wonderful way for visitors to enjoy the Marina during our warm summers, and by extending it through the month of September we can better increase its efficiency,” Knabe said.
The Marina water shuttle service costs about $300,000 to operate throughout the summer, but Beaches and Harbors officials expect the service to save about $100,000 with the schedule changes.
People who wish to use the taxi service on Fridays and weekends in June will need to call a cell phone number for the boat operator, who will be docked at one of the six boarding locations. Numbers to call for service are (310) 628-3219 and (310) 420-4591.
The six docking areas in the Marina are Fisherman’s Village, Fiji Way; Burton Chace Park, Mindanao Way; Mothers Beach, Admiralty and Palawan Way; Los Angeles County Fire Station #110, 4433 Admiralty Way; Dolphin Marina, 13900 Panay Way; and Marina Harbor, 13928 Tahiti Way.
The dock at the County Fire Station will be closed until Friday, July 1st, due to construction.
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
Friday, May 27th — on call from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, May 28th — full service from 11 a.m. to midnight.
Sunday, May 29th — full service from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Monday, May 30th — full service 11 am. To 10 p.m.
Fridays — on call from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.;
Saturdays — on call from 11 a.m. to midnight
Sundays — on call from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
JULY, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER
Fridays — on call from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturdays — full service from 11 a.m. to midnight.
Sundays — full service from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
July 4th — full service from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Labor Day, September 5th — from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Concert-goers on Classical Thursdays, July 7th and 21st, and August 4th and 18th, can use the shuttle service from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Three water shuttles operating simultaneously with a fourth in reserve will service the six docking locations in the Marina. However, the Department of Beaches and Harbors recommended that one shuttle be used for “on call” service on Fridays throughout the summer and two boats be used on weekends in June.
The new water shuttle schedule may be “confusing” for riders at first, but the Department of Beaches and Harbors is experimenting with the schedule to see the most efficient way to utilize the service, Crane said.
“We’ll see how this goes,” Crane said. “It may be more difficult for the public to grasp the changes but hopefully they’ll get used to it.”