Cancun, Q.R. — Ultramar says they will begin offering ferry service across the Nichupté lagoon in the Cancun Hotel Zone quite likely by June of this year.
Germán Orozco Sarro, General Director of Ultramar, says they will begin operations of the passenger maritime transport system for the Cancun Hotel Zone within a period of three months.
The company says that with an investment of $50 million USD, they already have federal permits from the Ministry of Communications and Transportation and have also already received the first two boats designed exclusively to navigate the lagoon without environmental impact.
He explained that the ferry system will be Multimodal Terminal of Maritime Transport, which consists of a shuttle service that will sail from a port to one side of the Tajamar Malecon, from where the exits would be distributed to kilometers 9 and 14 of the Cancun Hotel Zone.
Studies were conducted for more than two years at a cost of more than $1 million USD, which included the design of the ships, the parking lots and the boarding and descending terminals at the two berths that the project will have, along with the boarding terminal in Tajamar.
In 2014, the project was presented to the business sector of Cancun and was included in the Urban Development Plan 2014-2030 as an alternative to reduce vehicular traffic on Kukulcán Boulevard that runs along the Cancun Hotel Zone. For years, there have also been talks of the Bojórquez bridge vehicle overpass to help with the traffic flow.
State governor, Carlos Joaquín González, has not spoken openly for or against this venture, but his government plan does contemplate a maritime transport system for Cancún through the Nichupté lagoon, identical to the one proposed by Germán Orozco.
Among the benefits would be 30 percent reduction in vehicular traffic along Kukulcán Boulevard, however, there are voices that say this option can hardly become an alternative for the mass transfer of passengers simply due to the more than 40,000 workers who commute daily to different areas of the hotel zone.
Ricardo Muleiro, president of Nautical Associations of Quintana Roo, said that although it seems a good project to connect downtown Cancun with the hotel zone, it can hardly serve to reduce traffic on Boulevard Kukulcán.
Environmental organizations such as Grupo Ecologista del Mayab say the project will worsen the situation of the Nichupté lagoon since it lacks the necessary depth to support the ferry service and runs a risk for mangroves in the entire lagoon.