Grid Shots: Water taxi edition


A Chicago Water Taxi travels south on the Chicago River from Ping Tom Park in Chinatown, just south of 18th Street, towards downtown. Photo by Eric Pancer. 

Are water taxis part of sustainable transportation?

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) helped Chicago Water Taxi (Wendella) get a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant to buy a new boat in 2000. It’s easy to understand their efforts to reduce congestion on the road if people who normally drive the route of a water taxi now take the boat. And same for the air quality if the emissions of its engine, measured in person-miles, is better than that of an automobile. But what about its influence on water quality? The Environmental Protection Agency describes all the ways in which boating pollutes water. An article in the Active Transportation Alliance’s Mode Shift newsletter explained water taxi transportation as another local transit option.


Chicago Water Taxi manager Andrew Sargis sees the Chicago River as underused. Video by CMAP. 


Shore Line also operates a water taxi. 


The Chicago Water Taxi’s Sunliner boat moves under the 18th Street bridge. Photo by Eric Rogers. 


Water reflects off the Sunliner in July 2010. Photo by Duane Rapp. 

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