A $2 fare will take you on a scenic tour of the Chicago River in under 12 minutes!
in 1962, water
taxis are very small passenger-only ferries (about 50 feet long or less).
’s water taxis are available on a fixed
route, due to high demand, but on-demand service is offered in other locations.
Traveling at an average speed of 8.4 mph, water taxis can load and unload very
quickly and run frequently, making them ideal for commuters. They are often more
reliable than surface transit options such as buses or taxis because they
operate on water, where there is considerably less traffic. Water taxis
alleviate traffic congestion by moving people from land to water, and can help
reduce a region’s carbon footprint by eliminating idling surface
Water Taxi entrance, Photo: Richie Diesterheft
At Chicago’s Madison Avenue Bridge
dock, close to both Union Station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center (major
transit centers for Metra and Amtrak), water taxis offer relief to commuters who
would otherwise have to make the 1.5-mile hike to the North Loop. Unlike
traditional cabs, local water taxis charge a flat rate as low as $2, regardless
of how far you travel. In addition to low fares, passengers also can enjoy a
peaceful, scenic tour of Chicago’s world renowned architecture.
The water taxis’ simplicity adds to
its lure. Chicago tourists, both foreign and domestic,
will find the service easy to navigate because it does not stray from the water.
Visitors can hop from the Sears
Tower to the Shedd Aquarium to
Chinatown with an all-day water taxi pass, all
the while enjoying the relaxing atmosphere of the river, away from the hustle
and bustle of the streets above. Passengers can enjoy climate-controlled
temperatures inside the enclosed cabin (water taxis are equipped to run even
during unfavorable weather conditions) or feel the wind on their faces on
Mayor Richard M. Daley’s newly
appointed Riverwalk Development Committee works with members of the public and
private sectors to utilize the waterfront better, and transform it into an
inviting place that attracts shops, restaurants, and other development
opportunities. Accessibility via
water taxis help invigorate the Riverwalk by attracting both residents and
tourists to the area. The Fox River in St. Charles or the DuPage
River in Naperville both could benefit from a water taxi
service. Whether exploring the city
or making a daily commute, water taxis offer an eco-friendly, efficient and
memorable transit experience.
This article was featured in Talking Transit, MPC's
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