Starting on Tuesday, May 31, Ocean Pines residents can take advantage of a new service: a water taxi carrying passengers between Ocean Pines and Ocean City.
Thanks to a collaboration with OC Bay Hopper, riders can leave from the Ocean Pines Yacht Club to one of three stops in Ocean City: 118th Street, 48th Street, and the West Ocean City Harbor.
The water taxi is scheduled to travel from Ocean Pines to 48th Street each day at 12:45 p.m., 3:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Boats will return to Ocean Pines heading north at 2:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.
One-way passes will cost $15 and round-trip tickets will run $25.
Ocean Pines General Manager John Viola said he sees the water taxi as both a service for residents and a potential benefit for Yacht Club business.
“We encourage Ocean Pines residents to take a trip over to Ocean City and stop by the Yacht Club for a drink or bite to eat, before or after their ride,” Viola said. “We see this as a service for our residents and we believe it will be a benefit to us.”
Ralph DeAngelus, co-owner of the Matt Ortt Companies that manages the Yacht Club, said he believes the strong live music at the Yacht Club will be enough to pull some visitors from Ocean City to Ocean Pines.
“The Yacht Club fully supports the arrival of the water taxi to and from its docks on a daily rotation,” he said. “We believe it will be financially beneficial, and we thank General Manager John Viola and the Board of Directors for pushing it through.”
OC Bay Hopper will also offer a special sightseeing trip from Ocean Pines to Assateague on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
“Our plan is to pick riders up at the docks in Ocean Pines at 9 a.m. and whisk them down to Assateague for a tour of the island by water,” OC Bay Hopper Co-owner Steve Butz said. “They’ll get an amazing view of the wildlife and then return to the Yacht Club at about 11:15 a.m., just in time for lunch.”
Launched in 2018, OC Bay Hopper transported roughly 8,000 riders last summer.
Starting this summer, Butz said each of the three Bay Hopper boats would carry an Ocean Pines Yacht Club placard, and that OC Bay Hopper staff would help promote Ocean Pines as a new destination.
“The Ocean Pines Yacht Club is a hidden gem available to residents and visitors in Ocean City and we are excited to add this spot to our list of Bayside destinations,” he said. “We are hoping that a strong reception to this service from Ocean Pines residents will also allow us to expand service in the future, as we add more boats to our fleet."
For more information, visit www.ocbayhopper.com.