Local services in Florida Keys
The major industries are fishing and tourism, including ecotourism, with many visitors scuba diving in the area's protected waters. A new ferry now takes riders between Key West and Fort Myers, due north on the mainland, along the western edge of Florida Bay. The Florida Keys has public bus transportation. The main chain of Keys islands can be traveled by motor vehicles on the Overseas Highway, a 127-mile section of U.S. 1, which runs from Key West to Fort Kent, Maine in its entirety. The highway was built parallel to the original route of the Overseas Railway, which was not rebuilt following the Labor Day hurricane of 1935. Even before the hurricane, road sections and highway bridges allowed automobile traffic to travel from Miami to Lower Matecumbe Key, where a car ferry connected with another roadway section through the Lower Keys. Following the hurricane, some of the original railway bridges were converted to carry the highway roadbeds. These bridges were used until the 1980s, when new highway bridges were built alongside. Many of the original railroad and highway bridges remain today as pedestrian fishing piers.