Wildwood mayor Ernie Troiano Wednesday Jan , 2013. (Dale Gerhard/Press of Atlantic City)

Dale Gerhard

WILDWOOD — The trek to the water’s edge here is so long that there has even been talk of bringing in camels to get beachgoers from the Boardwalk to the water and back.

But city opted for a more traditional solution, starting a beach taxi service this summer that will take visitors back and forth for a fee.

Cars that can seat up to six passengers are being used by the Beach Patrol, and so far the program has been a success, Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. said Wednesday.

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“It’s working exceptionally well,” he said.

The city-run operation uses all-terrain vehicles to carry tourists and their supplies from several locations including Rio Grande, Leaming, Bennett and Roberts avenues, Troiano said.

The city had been helping those in need make the long trip — the beach is estimated to be as wide as 2,000 feet in some places — on an as-needed basis, and Troiano said it made sense to expand the service.

“We’ve been wanting to do this for years,” Troiano said. “I feel for those mothers that have to haul all that stuff all day to the water’s edge.”

He noted that the city’s beach grew 158 feet just over the winter as it becomes a drop-off for sand moving from other beaches along the shore.

Fees for a one-way ride are $3 per adult, $2 for senior citizens ages 60 and older and children 12 and younger, and $1 for those with physical impairments as well as veterans with ID cards.

Commissioner Pete Byron said the initiative had collected between $400 and $500 on weekend days so far and it in operation seven days a week.

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