In 1983, Michael Kosinski ran a small contractor barge service from Marker 7 Marina (Palm Island Marina) to the islands. The same year, Palm Island Transit was providing similar services to Palm Island Resort utilizing a tug (Rags) and a steel barging unit, operating out of the same marina.
Island Transit, a company founded in 1984 by Steve Bush, began water transportation services to Palm, Knight and Don Pedro Islands utilizing a base at the end of Panama Boulevard. He started the service to provide transport of materials and equipment for contractors building homes on the Islands. He utilized a wooden barge with outboard motors to accomplish this task. Two separate passenger ferry services were also operating at the time, one by Palm Island Resort and the other by Steve Bush at the Panama Boulevard location.
Welcome aboard and have a safe journey to paradise.
In 1988 Island Transit merged with Palm Island Transit to create one central system for the entire island. The equipment was completely upgraded to include a new tug and barging unit. Palm Island Transit continued to provide transportation services to the contractors using the current landing areas on the mainland and island and started expanded service, including limited vehicle transport for homeowners with medical or disability needs. Hours of operation were Monday through Friday 8:00 A.M. to 6:00 PM. By 1994 the company was providing full vehicle service to the residents on the islands, with hours of operation from 7:00 A.M until 8:00 P.M., seven days a week utilizing a single tug/barging unit. In 1996 the original barge and tug were decommissioned and used by the county to create a man-made reef in the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, three new tugs and two new barging units have been commissioned.
Today, Palm Island Transit runs 7 days a week from 6:30 A.M. until 10:00 P.M. (11:00 P.M. on Friday evenings and Midnight on Saturday evenings). We maintain a Captain and Mate on call for any after-hour medical or fire emergencies. We currently operate two tug/barging units back to back to provide the best level of service. In 2010, we carried over 106,000 vehicles of all sizes to the islands and back.
The company’s staff is always ready to greet you with a cheerful smile. We started with one Captain, Martin Cole, and now have five captains, seven mates and office support staff. Their job is to ensure your safety upon arrival and departure from the ferry. They can also be a great source of local information. Periodically, you may get serenaded by one of the Captains, particularly during the holiday season.