By using Pittsburgh’s rivers, our water taxis reduce road congestion, reduce parking requirements and possibly reduce car ownership. Water taxis provide an alternative to public transportation, never suffer from road construction or traffic delays, and will often deliver customers closer to desirable venues than any other motorized transportation option. We envision a fleet of six to ten 8-10 passenger boats similar to those found in Victoria and Vancouver, BC. Each taxi is covered and weather-protected, and each is very maneuverable and can access a variety of small river landings quickly and easily. The taxis will be captained by older citizens who combine the city’s well-known work ethic, a customer-centric perspective and a command of city history, both human and natural.
We plan to make the boats electric drive, minimizing both air and water pollution, providing a quiet ride, and extolling the virtues of fossil-free transportation, while enjoying the beauty of Pittsburgh as seen from the rivers’ level and creating a subtle awareness of the rivers’ ecosystem that most commuters and visitors never currently glimpse.
The water taxis will work on two models. 1) We will establish a standard route for the water taxis and create a fleet that ensures that no passenger waits more than ten minutes or so for the next taxi. For a reasonable fee ($5/rider? Discounts for multi-ride purchases?) passengers can ride the standard route and get on or off at any stop. Specific stops need to be determined, but most will be publicly available landings in and around downtown, possibly including the following:
- Southside Works
- 18th Street launch, Southside
- Terminal Building, Southside
- Station Square
- Mon Wharf at Smithfield Street Bridge
- Mon Wharf at Point State Park
- Rivers Casino
- Carnegie Science Center
- Heinz Quay
- Allegheny Landing (North Shore above Clemente Bridge)
- Warhol Bridge at Three Rivers Heritage Trail
- David L Lawrence Convention Center
- Armstrong Cork Factory or Lock Wall One Marina
A round trip between all these landings is approximately 10 miles. Many of these landing are walking distance to desired locations for both commuters and visitors, and most are near bike rental stations allowing for even more connections.
2) A few other boats will deploy on an as-called basis, akin to a traditional taxi. Water taxis are limited to pre-defined landings, but will transport passengers directly from point A to point B, for a premium price compared to the taxis running the standard route.
In the same way that Kayak Pittsburgh’s dozens of yellow kayaks transformed the image of the rivers’ usability and Pittsburgh’s renewal, our water taxis will continue to demonstrate the on-demand accessibility and usefulness of the rivers for everyone everyday that makes everyone, users and spectators, proud to be in Pittsburgh.
Our inspirations include the following:
CityLab: if you provide good transit options, people will use them