A water taxi will soon connect waterfronts  in Sarasota, Anna Maria and Bradenton. The Sarasota-Bradenton Ferry promises to turn Gulf Coast waterways into a transit corridor long dreamed about by downtown planners, and it holds the opportunity to change how people move themselves around the region. The transport, to be used by tourists and commuters alike, will come online as soon as docks are ready to take in the vessels. Sherman Baldwin, who runs Paradise Boat Tours in Bradenton Beach, won approval earlier this year from Sarasota, Bradenton and Manatee County officials on a plan to run a 125-passenger ferry between jurisdictions. While the boat company originally planned to unveil the new ferry as early as October, Hurricane Irma shifted the timeline. The City of Sarasota recently announced it would have to close the 10th Street docks for repairs, so the new ferry awaits the scheduling of its maiden voyage. Fortunately, there was no damage to docks at the Bradenton Riverwalk or to the drop-off locale on Anna Maria Island, but the ferry for now will await the chance to have all three stops on the circuit in operation before boat trips begin. 


Caption: Riverwalk in Downtown Bradenton. Note: Ferry shown, right, is an example of a similar catamaran, but not an exact replica of the actual ferry, which is still in production.