Where mass transit matters (pt 5) – water taxis

Source: twitter.com

For those of us who love the water like me, water taxis (or water buses) are just plain fun to see, ride, and be around. They are perfect for walking and bicycling work commuters who prefer not to have to deal with the street traffic. One of the New York City water taxis even has a specialty ride called the Bike the Brooklyn Bridge/Water Taxi Back Adventure. These nimble and nifty little boats can take you shore to shore without ever getting your feet wet and are a perfect form of mass transit for many urban settings, including inland cities on rivers or lakes (i.e. Winnipeg, Paris, Quad Cities, Pittsburgh, and Oklahoma City for example).  Based on the list below, water taxi and/or water bus services can be found serving 14 states and 25 different nations.

Chicago Water Taxi

Water taxis/buses are popular with the general public and commuters too. In the month of August of 2011 alone, the Chicago Water Taxi Company had 73,482 riders utilize its service along the Chicago River. In Brooklyn, ridership was well above expectations for the East River Service. The East River service had 448,670 riders in its first 17 weeks of operation, which was an astounding 40,000 ahead of projections for the entire year!

For urban planners, water taxis/buses are an excellent and cost-effective way to promote multi-modal mass transit in a city without huge and costly infrastructure improvements. Most of the infrastructure is already in place in the form of the waterway, lake, channel, harbor, or bay. On a slightly whimsical twist to the old adage, “just add a boat.

Plans for a new water taxi service between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario would be the first such international service and an exciting new commuting and tourism opportunity. Water taxis would be a viable mass transportation option for many cities dotting the Great Lakes shoreline, not just Chicago or Toronto, whether they are in the United States or Canada.

Seabus, with North Vancouver on the far shore

Cities and other places operating water buses and/or taxis around the planet include the following:

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Bristol, England, UK
  • Brunei
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Bydgoszcz, Poland
  • Cardiff, Wales, UK
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Dubai, UAE
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
  • Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Guangzhou, China
  • Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Jacksonville, Florida, USA
  • Karachi, Pakistan
  • Kobe, Japan
  • Kristiansund, Norway
  • Kragerø, Norway
  • Laughlin-Bullhead City, Nevada/Arizona, USA
  • London, England, USA
  • Long Beach, California, USA
  • Manchester, England, UK – Waxis (launched in 2010)
  • Nantes, France
  • Manila, The Philippines
  • Moscow, Russia
  • New York City, New York/New Jersey, USA (multiple services)
  • Niigata, Japan
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA – Bricktown Water Taxi
  • Orlando, Florida, USA
  • Osaka, Japan
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Paris, France
  • Panama City, Panama
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Port of Spain, Trinidad
  • Potsdam, Germany
  • Quad Cities, Illinois/Iowa, USA – Channel Cat Taxi
  • Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Seattle, Washington, USA
  • Sacramento, California, USA
  • Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Shizuoka, Japan
  • Singapore
  • Spalding, England, UK
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Tampa, Florida, USA
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – Seabus
  • Venice, Italy
  • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • Walt Disney World Resort, Florida, USA
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Xochimilco, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Yokohama, Japan

SOURCE: en.wikipedia.org. Here’s a weblink to a brochure on the Channel Cat Taxi service across the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities.

This entry was posted in cities, placemaking, transit, transportation, urban planning and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Where mass transit matters (pt 5) – water taxis

  1. k says:

    the water taxi seems like a smaller version of the ferry


  2. Indeed a very nice post. I am also associated with Taxi in Oklahoma city and Oklahoma taxi cab service, Oklahoma cab,. I like to read new and fresh posts on this subject and I am your regular post reader. Thanks for writing such a good post.


  3. Geoff Bradlet says:

    We have an 80 foot yacht in NY. We would like to anchor overnight in the Hudson. Is there a service that can take some of our guests ashore on the 4 th of July. Approx 12 people or 2 lots of 6.


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