Lake Union Water Taxi Proposed

Could Lake Union get its own water taxi?.

One of the boats that would be used as a water taxi. Photo courtesy: Capt. Kezner

 

“We have the water and we have the people interested in making this happen.”

Seattle resident and designer Curtis Boozer says when it comes to getting around Lake Union, a mini-ferry system just makes sense.

“With all this construction going on, it’s terrible downtown right now. Why can’t we look forward before something happens?”

Boozer says traveling between stops on the lake is not a new idea. In his proposal, he cites Seattle for having a similar system dating back to the 1880’s – when passengers boarded a steamer and rode around the lake, stopping at homesteads and settlements. And now, Boozer says he’s ready to help the water taxi make a comeback.

“This should be happening.”

With help from Captain Larry Kezner, who runs the ‘Sunday Ice Cream Cruise’ around Lake Union, Boozer says they’ve been working with city officials, architects and economic developers.

Here’s what they’re proposing: Run at least one, maybe two, small 14-passenger boats across the lake. The boat would make round trips, on a schedule, between South Lake Union and a spot near the University of Washington, off Brooklyn Avenue.
 
“It could be people going to lunch one place, working on the other side, going to a meeting, needing to transport small parcels,” said Captain Kezner.

Each trip would take about 20-22 minutes, about 2 minutes longer than by bus, and passengers would pay $5 each way.

“We have to make money, we can’t go to taxpayers to ask for money,” said Captain Kezner. “Our business model is set up that if we run at 50 percent capacity we would more than break even. I would be happy with that.”

Boozer says they would need help with some of the start-up costs associated with running a water taxi system. But he says over the long haul – especially in the event of a citywide emergency such as an earthquake – the $200,000-$500,000 price tag is worth it.

“We need to get people educated on other ways to move people around.”

Boozer says they are still working with the city on the concept. Capt. Kezner would like to see the plan move ‘full speed ahead’ before this summer.

If they are successful, the two hope to expand service to other Lake Union neighborhoods.

More information about the ‘Sunday Ice Cream Cruise’ can be found online.

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